Eight articles on PainSci cite Grundy 1984: 1. The Complete Guide to Trigger Points & Myofascial Pain 2. Does Posture Matter? 3. The Complete Guide to IT Band Syndrome 4. Complete Guide to Low Back Pain 5. The Not-So-Humble Healer 6. Are Orthotics Worth It? 7. Your Back Is Not Out of Alignment 8. Reading Guide for Professionals
PainSci commentary on 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 wherever possible.
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.
~ Paul Ingraham
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.
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:
- Photobiomodulation therapy is not better than placebo in patients with chronic nonspecific low back pain: a randomised placebo-controlled trial. Guimarães 2021 Pain.
- No effect of creatine monohydrate supplementation on inflammatory and cartilage degradation biomarkers in individuals with knee osteoarthritis. Cornish 2018 Nutr Res.
- The CANBACK trial: a randomised, controlled clinical trial of oral cannabidiol for people presenting to the emergency department with acute low back pain. Bebee 2021 Med J Aust.
- Relationships Between Sleep Quality and Pain-Related Factors for People with Chronic Low Back Pain: Tests of Reciprocal and Time of Day Effects. Gerhart 2017 Ann Behav Med.
- Modulation in the elastic properties of gastrocnemius muscle heads in individuals with plantar fasciitis and its relationship with pain. Zhou 2020 Sci Rep.