Knee Pain and Body Basics
I have been researching the effects of differences in leg and foot lengths to learn if they can cause problems, especially knee pain, while running. I’ve found several websites that discuss these issues but nothing that clearly states it will or won’t cause problems.
I have known for a while that my left leg was at least 1/2 inch shorter than my right. I found this out while getting a pair of pants tailored many years ago. If a physician ever noticed when I was a child, no one mentioned it to me or my parents. Although I do remember my Mom saying I had a little hop when I walked, it hasn’t affected my walking or running.
Recently I discussed this with my chiropractor. He mentioned how this difference could affect my spine and hip alignment and cause me pain. He gave me some lifts to put in my shoe to compensate but I no longer use them since the lifts produced little benefit. Apparently my body has long since adapted to this condition. Since I wasn’t aware of it while growing up, it never bothered me.
I also noticed that my left foot is approximately 3/8 inch longer than my right. Whether this is within the normal range of size difference is not important but it explains why I always have a difficult time finding a pair of shoes that fit. Some people can walk into a store and know the brand and shoe size that fits them perfectly. On the other hand, I may try on many shoes, even in the same style, looking for that one in a million pair to fit both my feet. I’ve even resorted to taking the left and right shoe from different pairs of the same size.
If a difference in leg or foot length may be causing you problems while running, you should obviously discuss this with your doctor. It may or may not be the cause, but you need to check it out. In my case I always found it to be my running shoes. As I have talked about in my other articles, having the right shoes is the foundation for running.