Leg length inequality, pelvic obliquity

Leg length inequality is present in almost one in every three people. However, it only requires treatment if the difference is over 0.5 cm in children or over 1 cm in adults. The causes can be idiopathic (unknown origin), post-traumatic (such as damage to growth plates) or connected to an underlying disorder (congenital malformations). Leg length inequality can also occur in the context of joint disorders (such as Legg-Calve-Perthes disease) or functionally during joint mobility impairment.

On this page you can learn what a pelvic obliquity or leg length inequality is and to what extent kybun can help correct the problem. If you would like to know whether the kybun shoe can be individually adapted according to your specific leg length inequality, please click here.

Definition

Medicine defines leg length inequality as the possible difference in the length of the legs, defined as the lower limbs from the hips to the feet. Minor differences do not require treatment; most people have slight leg length inequality and experience no symptoms. Therapy should only be considered if the difference is 7–10 mm. Leg length inequality in children must be monitored and, in some circumstances, treated. The inequality often disappears as the child grows.

There is a fundamental difference between anatomical and functional leg length inequality.

Pelvic obliquity usually results from leg length inequality. The pelvis is higher on the side of the longer leg. Pelvic obliquity causes scoliosis (sideways curvature of the spinal column) in various degrees of severity.

Causes

Anatomical leg length inequality

True leg length inequality resulting from differing lengths of the upper and/or lower legs: Possible causes:

  • sometimes results from a hip TEP operation (artificial hip joint)
  • congenital: club foot, congenital hip dislocation, coxa vara, for example
  • infection-related: Osteomyelitis, septic coxitis
  • paralysis-related: cerebral palsy, poliomyelitis
  • Traumatic: the result of bone fractures or injuries to the epiphyseal plate
  • tumour-related:
  • miscellaneous: leg malalignment (valgus malalignment, varus malalignment, Legg-Calve-Perthes disease)

functional leg length inequality

Without anatomical length difference, resulting from:

  • arthrotic hip joint
  • Hip contracture (increased inclination, adduction or abduction)
  • Contractures in the knee
  • Drop foot

Long-term consequences

Because the legs form the foundation of our statics, a great leg length inequality can cause changes in posture and in the spinal column, as well as secondary drop foot. Pelvic obliquity causes scoliosis (sideways curvature of the spinal column) in varying degrees of severity. The human body does have ways of compensating, but most great leg length inequality leads to painful changes. Compensation can occur in two ways:

  • Tiptoeing: Walking on the toes of the short leg reduces the influence of the difference in length. Many women do this even in pumps.
  • Raised shoes

Conventional therapy

Depending on the difference in leg length:

  • orthopaedic shoe alteration (raised heels with sole adjustment and insoles)
  • custom-made orthopaedic shoes or custom-made shoes with inner shoes or foot bedding orthesis
  • Elevated shoes or orthopaedic leg orthesis, or in extreme cases and on physician recommendation, surgery

The kybun principle of operation – being proactive

The impact from walking on hard surfaces (such as asphalt) is pleasantly absorbed when walking on the springy, elastic material of the kybun sole/kybun mat. This provides relief when walking and is particularly important for those who suffer from joint or soft tissue pain.

Since the foot can move freely in all directions, the core stabilising foot musculature is strengthened. The feet become stronger and can absorb forces more effectively (when walking, jogging etc.), protecting the joints higher up from strain and deterioration.

The unstable walking experience in kybun shoes and standing on the kybun mat strengthens the entire body. The stability of your joints and your posture are automatically improved. An upright posture, in turn, relieves the joints and reduces pain.

The positive effect of kybun shoes on your posture combined with the natural rollover motion relieves the tension in your muscles (such as back tension), significantly improving your wellbeing.

The kybun springy, elastic sole can compensate for differences in leg lengths to a certain degree (up to approx. 1 cm). There are a number of different measures you can take to adapt kybun shoes to your personal needs if the difference in your leg lengths is greater. please click here for more information

Initial reactions

Specific initial reactions with leg length inequality:

The elastic material of the kybun mat/kybun sole changes your posture. For those with a more or less severe leg length inequality or who have worn special orthopaedic shoes or insoles for years, the change in body statics in the kybun shoe/on the kybun mat can cause reactions such as strain, pain and fatigue in the beginning. Give your body time to adjust to the new way of walking in the kybun shoe and read the recommendations under ‘Application tips’.

 

Click here for the general initial reactions experienced by kybun mat and kybun shoe beginners: Initial reactions

kybun exercises

For information about the special kybun exercises or the basic kybun mat exercises , please click here: kybun exercises

The following adaptations to the standard implementation of interval walking are important in case of pelvic obliquity :

Anatomical pelvic obliquity:

  1. If possible, seek a solution before interval walking: Differences of up to 1 cm can be compensated for by the soft, elastic material; greater differences require consultation with kybun.
  2. Always look straight ahead (improves posture)
  3. During slow exercises, imagine a thread attached to your head, pulling it upwards
    - Upper body straightening
  4. During fast exercises: Clasp your hands in front of your stomach
    - more energetic rotation of hips, back and shoulders

Functional pelvic obliquity:

  1. During fast exercises: Clasp your hands in front of your stomach
    - more energetic rotation of hips, back and shoulders so that the pelvic posture is changed as consciously as possible
  2. conduct both exercises with a focus on the changeover
    - long-term: Musculature must adapt to the new posture
  3. Always look straight ahead (improves posture)
  4. During slow exercises, imagine a thread attached to your head, pulling it upwards
    - Upper body straightening

Application tips

  • Do not make your steps too long
  • Everyday/leisure: Walk with the kybun shoe or use the kybun mat as much as possible. Take note of fatigue > perform the kybun exercises regularly and take a short break if needed.
  • Walk upright
  • Job: Sit as little as possible. Alternate sitting and standing in the beginning, and take along replacement shoes to change into
  • Initial reactions such as back pain or an increase in your existing back pain when using the kybun shoe or the kybun mat may be due to various reasons (e.g. tense muscles, movements that are unfamiliar for the back). The body should have progressively fewer initial reactions if the dosage is adjusted correctly (increase duration of wear at your discretion).
  • If you do not feel comfortable in the kybun shoe despite following the ‘Application tips’, we advise you to consult a local kybun dealer.

Opinions/customer testimonials

For 20 years, all my shoes have had to be two centimetres higher. Then I was straight again and walking was so much easier because it was soft now instead of hard. I then had to find out whether this would even be possible with these shoes. Whether this elevation could actually be done with the material. I got my answer and they made it in the factory with the two centimetre height increase – and it’s great.
I have scoliosis since childhood, probably as a result of 1 cm one leg short, I'm still living with pain (in the back, below the right shoulder blade, then began to manifest pain in the hip). I did not know nothing about Swiss footwear brand kybun. Fortuitously, I met a man that works with the company kybun. I studied the technology and started with trust to wear kybun shoes. After one year and two months since I got the kybun shoe, I can 100% certainty that biomechanoterapi works. No pain under the shoulder blade! I have no pain in the hip, strengthened stability in the legs. I thank God that he took care of my health and gave me new friends.
I used to put more weight on my right foot, because it's longer. So I always stood on that one. And then it simply wasn't balanced any more, and with these shoes it somehow levels itself out, and I was standing much straighter. Even when sitting I notice that now, already, after a year – it takes a while, it's not from one day to the next – that I am simply sitting much straighter and everything's different. My whole posture is different. All of it.

I had back pain, and on top of that my left leg is 2.5 cm too short. I'd tried almost everything. It's a congenital defect. At first I wore MBT shoes. I thought they were the best there is, but I couldn't walk in them. Even the specialists said I couldn't walk in them. I looked a bit further afield and came across the kyBoot. Thanks to someone working at the chemist's, ho let me take the shoes home straight away, I was able to try the shoes out. I wasn't convinced immediately; it felt strange and they "wobbled about” a bit. She actually said that my muscles might ache, but I didn't get that during the trial period, only later. After I'd got over the whole thing, I have to say that they're really great. No more cold feet. We already have three pairs and I'm getting another pair soon.

Experiences/further questions about leg length inequality

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