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Heel Lifts and Chiropractic Care

Dr. Joseph Geelan, DC, has been providing chiropractic care in Marion, Iowa since 1976. After graduating from Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, he established the Geelan Chiropractic Center. He is a current member and past president of the Iowa Chiropractic Society.

Dr. Geelan prescribes the Adjust-a-Lift® heel lift to his patients who require a heel lift for a leg length discrepancy. We sat down with Dr. Geelan to discuss his process for diagnosing a difference in leg lengths, and what makes the Adjust-a-Lift® different than others on the market.

Q. What symptoms would a patient describe that would make you suspect a leg length deficiency?

Dr. Geelan: Some of the symptoms would be general lower back discomfort, neuropathy, leg pain, sciatica; things that you know are coming from a vertebra out of place and interfering with nerve supply.

Additionally, if an individual has had an event that altered the pelvis and the lumbar spine—knee replacement, hip replacement, fracture of a foot, ankle, knee, leg, or any type of surgical procedures on those areas—those are typical indicators of the juxtaposition of the pelvis.

Q: How do you determine whether a patient needs a heel lift?

Dr. Geelan: I use a simple full spine X-ray method. On the X-ray, I measure and mark specific points, then use them to make calculations. You can have a slight difference in leg lengths and not need a heel lift. However, if the X-ray reveals a leg length deficiency, plus rotation of the sacrum and rotation of the fifth lumbar, I will suggest the patient wear a heel lift. Otherwise, the correction of the subluxation that I perform in the office will not hold. Using a lift in the shoe of the shorter leg will help hold the chiropractic adjustment. Without the heel lift, that vertebra is going to continue slipping out of place.

Q. Why do you recommend the Adjust-a-Lift® heel lift?

Dr. Geelan: The Adjust-a-Lift® is unique in that it can be adjusted simply by peeling off one or two of the three 1/8-inch layers to make it the height you need. It’s also constructed from rubber, so it has the proper durometer to absorb impact in walking, in supination or pronation. That makes it both comfortable and flexible. It’s also designed with adhesive, so it stays in place in the shoe instead of sliding around.

Watch Dr. Geelan’s method for determining the use of a heel lift for leg length discrepancy and learn how the Adjust-a-Lift® heel lift helped his patient, Tara, overcome the discomfort of a leg length discrepancy.


A leg length discrepancy diagnosis can be surprising, but with a proper heel lift, the adjustment can be easy and inexpensive.

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