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Caleb Pressley's Guide To Going On Walks

If you're anything like me, you love to go on early morning, mid-afternoon, and post lunch walks. I'll even partake in right before dinner walks, post-supper strolls, and pre-bed jaunts. Walking is all there is to do.

Finding the right shoes

The perfect walk starts with comfy shoes. I personally have a leg length discrepency so I wear an athletic pair that I can easily push an insert into. Leg length discrepancy basically works like this: one of your legs is a little bit longer than the other one so your natural gait is unevenly distributed. With this in mind, the first step for me is always finding comfortable athletic shoes that give me a chance to combat this unfortunate disposition. 

Picking a companion

The best case scenario is walking alone. If you have to walk with someone, I would recommend finding a person who is good at observations. "Oh, look! Is that a beaver?" That's a good thing to say during a walk. Another thing that you need to consider is finding someone with similar measurements. If you—like me—have a leg length discrepancy, the last person in the world you want to walk with is someone with same-length legs. If you are battling a natural weight imbalance as you move, you need to find someone who is also handicapped in some way. You probably need to stay away from people in wheelchairs because of hills, but you definitely want to walk with someone who has osteoarthritis of the hip or spine, or at the very least has lower extremity stress fractures.

Small talking neighbors

I just returned to North Carolina from New York City so none of my neighbors want to talk to me. They think that I'm an asymptomatic carrier of the coronavirus. That's okay though because once I get my body nice and warmed up and the blood gets flowing real strong, the last thing I want to do is stop and chat. That's an easy way to lose your momentum, and start to feel soreness in your lower back and hips. For me—someone with increased risk of scoliosis—a lot of time the pain starts in the hip of my longer leg because it gets about 75% of my weight each step. Wearing an insert helps balance that out, but nothing can overcome the natural cards you were dealt by your genetic parents.

Petting neighbors dogs

Some say that leg length discrepancy is actually a mutation you get from sleeping on your side. There is a lot of folklore, hearsay and misinformation about biomechanical impediments. Maybe the most interesting part about LLD is that often times it isn't only in the leg. Regularly, an entire side of a human body will be larger that the other. Foot, leg, ball, boob, and even ear. It's almost like the extremities on each side of our body are competing with each other for resources...

Length & Route

(Continued) Let's say you eat a potato and carrot casserole—the prevailing thought is that each side of the body is fighting for those vitamins and minerals to supplement their own individual growth. It's a leg eat leg world out there for sure. Check out this article from The Bone & Joint Journal that illustrates several examples of the problems that can be caused by leg length discrepancies:

The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. British Volume || Vol. 87-B, No. 2

X-Factor

If you feel this problem relates to you, the only real way to find out for sure is to get an X-Ray. You never want to pay more than necessary in medical bills, but the truth of the matter is you never know for sure until you've somehow paid 26 hundred dollars. Once you are a confirmed case, then you can start to take some necessary precautions, but ultimately you're likely to end up like Nick Saban—who also has a leg length discrepancy and was recently forced to get a hip replacement due to years of wear and tear.