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Conservative Correction of Leg-Length Discrepancies of 10mm or Less for the Relief of Chronic Low Back Pain

      Abstract

      Defrin R, Ben Benyamin S, Aldubi RD, Pick CG. Conservative correction of leg-length discrepancies of 10mm or less for the relief of chronic low back pain.

      Objective

      To study whether conservative correction in a leg-length discrepancy (LLD) of 10mm or less in patients with chronic low back pain (CLBP) can relieve pain.

      Design

      Randomized, controlled intervention study, with a mean follow-up duration of 10 weeks.

      Setting

      Physical therapy clinic of the national health services.

      Participants

      Thirty-three patients with CLBP were screened for an LLD of 10mm or less, which was measured with ultrasound. Patients were randomly divided into intervention and control groups.

      Intervention

      In 22 patients, LLD was corrected by applying individually fitted shoe inserts. In 11 patients, LLD was not corrected.

      Main Outcome Measures

      Chronic pain intensity (visual analog scale) and disability score (Roland-Morris Disability Questionnaire).

      Results

      Shoe inserts significantly reduced both pain intensity (P<.001) and disability (P<.05). A moderate positive correlation was found between LLD and the degree of pain relief after wearing shoe inserts (r=.47).

      Conclusions

      Shoe inserts appear to reduce CLBP and functional disability in patients with LLDs of 10mm or less. Shoe inserts are simple, noninvasive, and inexpensive therapeutic means that can be added to the treatment of CLBP.

      Key Words

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