5 Signs of Leg Length Discrepancy

Having one leg that's significantly longer than the other sounds like a strange problem, but it's no joke. In fact, it can be the source of quite a bit of discomfort and misery over time, especially for people who are into running or sports. The problem is, it's not always easy to tell if you have this issue yourself.

If you suspect you have a leg length discrepancy, you might be tempted to try and measure them. Unfortunately, it's very difficult to do this with any sort of accuracy, so you may end up with false results. Instead, look out for any of these symptoms and see a professional for a proper diagnosis. With treatments like orthotics, you might just find you can significantly improve your everyday life.

Lower back pain 

The lower back bears a lot of the pressure of your body, so it's a common place to experience aches and pains. This is especially the case when you've been on your feet all day or you're stressed.

However, chronic lower back pain that doesn't seem to be related to your activity, or that's difficult to treat, could be a sign of uneven leg length. This is because the shorter leg causes the pelvic bone to tilt more when you're walking or running, which puts extra stress on the lower spine and the muscles surrounding it, resulting in discomfort.

Knee and ankle pain

Having leg length discrepancy often results in one of the legs experiencing more impact when you're walking. Since the knees and ankles are weak points in the legs, they can be where the pain manifests.

Bad posture

It's difficult to diagnose leg length discrepancy based on posture, since there are many potential factors leading to it becoming less than ideal. However, if you've tried to correct your posture and struggled, this could be why.


If you're someone who often trips or stumbles, it's easy to put it down to simple clumsiness and not consider the reasons behind it. But one leg being longer causes a significant increase in these sorts of accidents, since it affects how you walk.

Walking or running problems

You might not notice it yourself, but other people may spot a slight limping motion when you walk or run. How noticeable it is depends on how much difference there is between legs, but it usually causes at least a very slight visual clue. It's hard to see in your own walk, as you're used to compensating for it.