Objective: The objective of this paper is to investigate if there is a relationship between the side of leg length inequality (LLI) and the side of low back pain (LBP).

Design: Carefully standardised radiographic technique as described by Giles (1,2) and reviewed by Rock (3) was utilised to evaluate LLI in individuals who presented for assessment of LBP. Age, sex and the side of LBP were extracted from patient records. The side of LBP was determined by marking a pain diagram, taking the form of a body outline, included in the patient questionnaires. These findings were examined to reveal any relationship between the side of LLI and the side of LBP.

Setting: The study was conducted in a private chiropractic practice.

Participants: From January 1993 to September 1993 all patients presenting for chiropractic assessment of LBP where included. Patients whose history revealed relevant trauma, surgery or whose radiographic examination showed anomaly or pathology, likely to confound results, were excluded from the study.

Results and Conclusion: A relationship has been demonstrated between the LLI side and the side of LBP. The broad age range of subjects may well have been a confounding factor in this study. Re-analysis of the sample of patients aged 34 years or less demonstrated that the LBP side is most commonly opposite the side of LLI.

 COMSIG Rev. 1995 Jul 1; 4(2): 33–36. [PMCID: PMC2050381]

Author information: Anderson RG, Hayek R, Foggerty MP.

Free PMC Article