PainSci summary of Grundy 1984?This page is one of thousands in the PainScience.com bibliography. It is not a general article: it is focused on a single scientific paper, and it may provide only just enough context for the summary to make sense. Links to other papers and more general information are provided at the bottom of the page, as often as possible. ★★★★☆4-star ratings are for bigger/better studies and reviews published in more prestigious journals, with only quibbles. Ratings are a highly subjective opinion, and subject to revision at any time. If you think this paper has been incorrectly rated, please let me know.
This classic, elegant experiment found no connection between leg length and back pain. Like most of the really good science experiments, it has that MythBusters attitude: “why don’t we just check that assumption?” Researchers measured leg lengths, looking for differences in “lower limb length and other disproportion at or around the sacroiliac joints” and found no association with low back pain. “Chronic back pain is thus unlikely to be part of the short-leg syndrome.” Other studies since have backed this up, but this simple old paper remains a favourite.
original abstract†Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.
In a case-control study, in which a specially designed questionnaire and a ‘locating jig’ were used to investigate the association between difference in lower limb length and other disproportion at or around the sacroiliac joints and the existence of chronic low back pain, no association was found. Chronic back pain is thus unlikely to be part of the short-leg syndrome.
- “Relationship between mechanical factors and incidence of low back pain,” Mohammad Reza Nourbakhsh and Amir Massoud Arab, Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, 2002.
- “Leg-length discrepancy is associated with low back pain among those who must stand while working,” Satu Rannisto, Annaleena Okuloff, Jukka Uitti, Markus Paananen, Pasi-Heikki Rannisto, Antti Malmivaara, and Jaro Karppinen, BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 2015.
- “Comparison of supine and prone methods of leg length inequality assessment,” Robert Cooperstein and Marc Lucente, J Chiropr Med, 2017.
These eight articles on PainScience.com cite Grundy 1984 as a source:
- PS Trigger Points & Myofascial Pain Syndrome — A guide to the unfinished science of muscle pain, with reviews of every theory and self-treatment and therapy option
- PS Does Posture Correction Matter? — Posture correction strategies and exercises … and some reasons not to care or bother
- PS Save Yourself from IT Band Syndrome! — All your treatment options for Iliotibial Band Syndrome reviewed in great detail, with clear explanations of recent scientific research supporting every key point
- PS Save Yourself from Low Back Pain! — Low back pain myths debunked and all your treatment options reviewed
- PS The Not-So-Humble Healer — Cocky theories about the cause of pain are waaaay too common in massage, chiropractic, and physical therapy
- PS Are Orthotics Worth It? — A consumer’s guide to the science and controversies of orthotics, special shoes, and other allegedly corrective foot devices
- PS Your Back Is Not Out of Alignment — Debunking the obsession with alignment, posture, and other biomechanical bogeymen as major causes of pain
- PS Reading Guide for Professionals — What’s on PainScience.com for therapists and doctors?
This page is part of the PainScience BIBLIOGRAPHY, which contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers & others sources. It’s like a highly specialized blog. A few highlights:
- A Bayesian model-averaged meta-analysis of the power pose effect with informed and default priors: the case of felt power. Gronau 2017 Comprehensive Results in Social Psychology.
- The neck and headaches. Bogduk 2014 Neurol Clin.
- Agreement of self-reported items and clinically assessed nerve root involvement (or sciatica) in a primary care setting. Konstantinou 2012 Eur Spine J.
- Effect of NSAIDs on Recovery From Acute Skeletal Muscle Injury: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Morelli 2017 Am J Sports Med.
- Association of Spinal Manipulative Therapy With Clinical Benefit and Harm for Acute Low Back Pain: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Paige 2017 JAMA.