Effects of artificially induced leg length discrepancy on treadmill-based walking and running symmetry in healthy college students: a lab-based experimental study

Review written by Dr Sarah Haag info

Key Points

  1. Leg length discrepancy (LLD) did impact gait symmetry.
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Leg length discrepancy (LLD) is a common postural deviation, but there is debate regarding the significance of LLD as it relates to pain and function. Some researchers claim that a LLD as low as 1cm may need to be corrected to reduce the risk of future complications, while others report that LLD’s up to 6cm do not significantly impact human function (1).

This study aimed to expand on the existing knowledge of the effects of LLD on gait symmetry, ground reaction force exertion (GRFs), and electromyography (EMG) activity of muscles of the lumbopelvic region during walking and running.

Some researchers claim that a leg length discrepancy as low as 1 cm may need to be corrected to reduce the risk of future complications.
It is important to exercise caution when attributing a clinical presentation to LLD alone.


  • This study used a mixed-design approach to measure the impact of artificially induced LLD of 0, 1, 2, and 3 cm in 26 healthy college students. During the first session, students were assessed for LLD, scoliosis, foot type, and pelvic
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