Hip pain is a common complaint because it’s a symptom for a litany of different problems. Depending on where the pain is located within the hip it could be triggered by arthritis, joint inflammation, leg or back injuries, pinched nerves, or even cancer. All these issues sound common enough but there is one cause of hip pain you may not be familiar with—a leg length discrepancy.
Also called a leg length deficiency or inequality, a leg length discrepancy is the term used when one leg is shorter than the other. The condition has two basic definitions. A true leg length discrepancy is an anatomical difference in length from the top of the femur to the bottom of the tibia between one leg and the other. A functional leg length discrepancy is when the difference between leg lengths is not a result of different bone lengths but rather joint or muscle problems.
These discrepancies manifest differently depending on the severity of the inequality. Some people never notice the difference in their leg lengths because their body compensates for it in their gait. Others experience aches and pains in their ankles, knees, and hips. If you suspect you have a leg length discrepancy, your doctor can perform a variety of different tests to confirm either visually by measuring bone lengths and observing your gait, or using an X-ray, CT scan, or MRI.
A mild case, when the discrepancy between legs is less than 5 millimeters, may not require any intervention. In more severe cases, prosthetics or surgery may be recommended. When a patient is somewhere in between, an over-the-counter heel lift like the Adjust-A-Lift® Heel Lift could be just the right kind of treatment for your hip pain.
The Adjust-A-Lift® Heel Lift is a versatile solution for patients with a leg length discrepancy because it’s adjustable. The 1/8-inch-thick insert has three layers you can peel away to create the exact height you need in the shoe of your shorter leg. The extra-firm, open cell foam rubber insert is hypoallergenic and reasonably priced. It’s a great solution for runners and weightlifters. We even offer the Heel Lift Ankle Sock for use with warm weather shoes like sandals and flip flops.
A leg length discrepancy could be causing your hip pain. If so, ask your doctor if the Adjust-A-Lift® Heel Lift is the right solution for you.