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bibliography * The PainScience Bibliography contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers and others sources, like a specialized blog. This page is about a single scientific paper in the bibliography, Grundy 1984.

The effect of leg length on back pain: a classic test

updated
Grundy PF, Roberts CJ. Does unequal leg length cause back pain? A case-control study. Lancet. 1984 Aug 4;2(8397):256–8. PubMed #6146810.
Tags: back pain, classics, biomechanics, hip, etiology, orthotics, manual therapy, spinal adjustment, pain problems, spine, pro, foot, leg, limbs, self-treatment, treatment, devices

PainSci summary of Grundy 1984?This page is one of thousands in the PainScience.com bibliography. It is not a general article: it is focussed 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.

~ Paul Ingraham

original abstract

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.

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These eight articles on PainScience.com cite Grundy 1984 as a source:


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.