Chronic back pain from uneven leg length: A Neuromuscular Therapy point of view

Acute pain, Arm pain, Back pain, Chronic pain, Low back pain, Scoliosis, Shoulder pain / Thursday, June 11th, 2009

scoliosis-xrayPain from a curvature of the spine caused by LLLI (Lower Limb Length Inequality) is a common condition usually overlooked in medical evaluations. Having LLLI  doesn’t always cause a problem, but when Trigger Points have formed, even one-eighth inch difference in the length of the legs can perpetuate pain if left uncorrected. (MDs Travell and Simons have pages of information and case studies in their Trigger Point Manual on structural asymmetries and their effect on muscles.)

Your body wants to be balanced and, when there is an asymmetry or scoliosis, it is constantly trying to make you even and straight, which of course it can’t do because the bones are uneven! So the muscles get tired from working all the time, use up all the stores of energy and nutrients, and end up in an energy crisis. They get tired, tight and ischemic (lack of oxygen from lack of blood). Eventually the reduced circulation also causes a buildup of waste products usually removed by the blood and lymph systems. The presence of these chemicals irritates the muscles even more and there you have pain!

Without bringing the muscles back to a healthy condition, Trigger Points can form that refer pain away from the local site and cause even more pain in their referral zones. Back pain from uneven leg length is a condition treated every week in my Boston area Neuromuscular Therapy center.