Two Signature Traits

Elevated left hip

Elevated right shoulder

Anthropological Perspective - Evolutionary Adaptation Theory

Short Right Leg Syndrome (SRLS) is a dominant genetic trait in Homo Sapiens. It is the result of an evolutionary adaptation giving a mother and young child a greater chance of survival in prehistoric times. The two signature traits of SRLS enables baby to be securely carried on the elevated left hip, shoulder bag of provisions securely carried on the elevated right shoulder, freeing the dominant right arm for work and defence. It can be deduced our ancestors were predominantly right handed. Otherwise, we would be seeing short left legs. We do not see short left legs.

Three Cardinal Signs


First - Anterior Rotation of the left hip


Anatomical adjustment functionally shortening the long leg.

Tight hip flexors

Binding SIJ through Spanish windlass effect

Blocking energetic flow down backline of left lower limb from glutes to plantar fascia

Restricting clockwise rotation about lumbar spine


Second - Rigid right hip


The pendulum effect...momentary hesitation before footfall forcing hip to hold with each step taken

Tight Adductor Magnus

Restricted ROM at Ilio-femoral joint

Forcing increased ROM at SIJ

Heightened chance of injury due to reduced flexibility.


Third - Mild right leaning scoliosis


Right leaning pelvic tilt in Frontal plane

Foundation of spine angled to right

Asymmetric costals, right bulging, left flattened.

Right spinal erectors through middle Tx more highly developed

There are rare exceptions with a double switchback occurring low in the spine causing left sided scoliosis despite right lean in the pelvis...bulging left costals, flattened on the right.


Compensatory Pattern


Anterior rotation left hip in Sagittal plane

Right leaning pelvic tilt in Frontal plane

Anticlockwise rotation of the pelvis in the Transverse plane

Right leaning scoliosis

Injury and Dysfunction Biomechanical Effects

With few exceptions, biomechanical issues contributing to pain and injury are generally secondary to the issues resulting from energetic effects caused by SRLS. This may explain why minor postural anomalies through the pelvic region are overlooked as the fundamental cause for many conditions. My reading of conventional  practitioners assessment of some lower limb conditions are a over thought catalogue of minor anatomical descriptions. These are sublimated when the pelvis is attended to.

The primary exception sighted in practice is right sided lumbar disk bulging. Caused by right convexity of the lumbar spine, rarely catastrophic and usually mild in nature but part of the common lumbro-sacral pattern of tightness and tenderness palpating the right QL's. Loading and/or an event can result in varying degrees of dysfunction up to and including acute disk injury.

Naturally, there is direct biomechanical stress through upper back and neck from mild scoliosis. Similarly, due to ignorance of the fact SRLS is so pervasive, many theories for spinal conditions exist finding causation in temporal mandibular joint and cervical vertebrae conditions generating dural drag, etc., down the spine. These theories should be reviewed taking into account pelvic distortion and effect from a short leg up the spine.

First Level Energetic Effects


Left Lower Limb Mechanism

Anterior rotation of left hip causing energetic block at SIJ and consequent thickening and tightening down backline of limb.

Right Lower Limb Mechanism

Frontal plane pelvic tilt widening right side spacing between lumbar vertebrae and reducing left side space encourages lumbar disk bulging to the right. Rarely catastrophic but sufficient to cause tenderness and tightening in right QL's. When acute will cause energetic block, tightening and thickening down backline of lower right limb.

Lower Back Mechanism

Scoliosis has been studied extensively and my insights are rudimentary at best. Many fields of therapeutic practice overlook the effect of energetic blockage through the pelvis and lumbro-sacral region on the spine. Misalignment of the pelvis tilts the spine's foundation causing scoliosis, generates chronic soft tissue stress inhibiting energy flow. Where energy flow is blocked, thickening and tightening occurs restricting mobility through back and neck.


Injury and Dysfunction Resulting from First Level Energetic Effects


Combo of gait, activity type/levels/load, prior injury, flexibility, core integrity will induce mild underlying pattern to morph into acute pain, dysfunction and injury.


Second Level Energetic Effects


Physical stress through pelvis in the three anatomical planes caused by leg length difference inhibits Root, Sacral and Plexus Chakra vitality. Chi flow in the Kidney, Urinary Bladder, Stomach, Spleen, Liver and Gall Bladder meridians passing through the pelvic region to and from the lower limbs is restricted.


Injury and Dysfunction Resulting from Second Level Energetic Effects


This has a direct effect on metabolic function and vitality. Inhibits circulation of lower limbs. Reduces lower limb strength. Either through advancing age or when an overlaying lumbro-sacral injury compounds the energetic block, lower limb degradation accelerates leading to fluid retention, pain through bladder and kidney meridians in hamstring, calf and heels, and increasingly reduced lower limb function over time. This is an outcome I have encountered multiple times in practice. A myriad of other health outcomes affecting digestion and fertility, etc., can be influenced by this aspect of SRLS which is better considered by a TCM practitioner.

First published 16 May 2021 at