T Nation

Possible Leg Length Discrepancy


Hey guys i have been getting some pain around the area of the si joint lately, i was back squatting and the area around the right hip suddenly tightented up like crazy, i dropped the workout and got home and rested. I have been having pain in the area for about 14 days now, and i tried some single leg work and that also irretated the area.

In the lastest couple of months i have been filming my squats and they look very uneven, the bar shifts to the left side when i squat + the right hip seems to shift more to the right. I dont know for how long this problem has been present maybe since starting squat ( 1,5 years ago) maybe now i have enough weight on for the problem to become present.

I have taken some photos of my posture and it looks like my legs are uneven,for me the right leg look like it is longer, what can i do about this problem ?

thanks

the picture from behind

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nfqeE9hO-k&feature=youtu.be video of my squat

[quote]dalle wrote:
Hey guys i have been getting some pain around the area of the si joint lately, i was back squatting and the area around the right hip suddenly tightented up like crazy, i dropped the workout and got home and rested. I have been having pain in the area for about 14 days now, and i tried some single leg work and that also irretated the area. In the lastest couple of months i have been filming my squats and they look very uneven, the bar shifts to the left side when i squat + the right hip seems to shift more to the right. I dont know for how long this problem has been present maybe since starting squat ( 1,5 years ago) maybe now i have enough weight on for the problem to become present.

I have taken some photos of my posture and it looks like my legs are uneven,for me the left leg look like it is longer, what can i do about this problem ?

thanks [/quote]

You need to be laying down to assess leg length. While standing muscular imbalances could give the false impression of an imbalance but it might just be due to muscles on side being tighter than the other.

Lay down on your back, bend your knees to 90 degrees, then examine if one knee is higher than the other. If one is, you probably have one leg longer than the other.

This isn’t that common. Imbalances are more common.

okay thanks alot for your answer , i will try that. And foam roll and stretch the elevated side even more hehe:). any ideas on how to correct my squat ?

i went to a PT for my leg imbalance and what i thought was a leg length discrep. But my PT measured my legs with a old fashion tape measure and found it to be 1/4 to 1/2 inch difference not enough to make a difference, i think he said if it’s 1" or more than there needs to be corrective measures taken.

So the length was fine, he ran tests to determine why one leg was weaker. He determined the psoas/hip flexors was tight on the weaker leg and suggested some exercises that MAY help out, he said it’s not weak but tight. But he didn’t rule out a structural reason such as the femor near the hip could be slightly rotated internally in the weaker leg but no way in determining that except for x-rays.

So this is still work in progress for me, in your case i would go have it checked out. And it sounds like when squatting, you’re weaker leg is caving in or they call it Valgus. I had the same problem but activation and mobility drills prior to squatting really helped out.

hey bluerock, thanks alot for your response :). Will try the activation pre workout

[quote]bluerock wrote:

So the length was fine, he ran tests to determine why one leg was weaker. He determined the psoas/hip flexors was tight on the weaker leg and suggested some exercises that MAY help out, he said it’s not weak but tight. But he didn’t rule out a structural reason such as the femor near the hip could be slightly rotated internally in the weaker leg but no way in determining that except for x-rays.
[/quote]

You can assess this without x-rays. Your PT was referring to femoral anteversion. It’s considered clinically significant when greater than 45 degrees. Here’s an example from a client of mine (this is a pretty severe case):

One leg is normally weaker than the other. It’s just like hand dominance. Typically the leg opposite of your dominant hand is stronger i.e. if you’re right handed your left leg is a bit stronger than your left.

[quote]BReddy wrote:

[quote]bluerock wrote:

So the length was fine, he ran tests to determine why one leg was weaker. He determined the psoas/hip flexors was tight on the weaker leg and suggested some exercises that MAY help out, he said it’s not weak but tight. But he didn’t rule out a structural reason such as the femor near the hip could be slightly rotated internally in the weaker leg but no way in determining that except for x-rays.
[/quote]

You can assess this without x-rays. Your PT was referring to femoral anteversion. It’s considered clinically significant when greater than 45 degrees. Here’s an example from a client of mine (this is a pretty severe case):

One leg is normally weaker than the other. It’s just like hand dominance. Typically the leg opposite of your dominant hand is stronger i.e. if you’re right handed your left leg is a bit stronger than your left. [/quote]

well, when doing this both my legs were able to bend almost even.

yes , I’m right handed and my left leg is stronger. My PT also suggested besides the psoas tightness is to stengthen the gluteus medius muscle, but I think overall I’ve come a long way establishing the weaker leg into the fold at the gym by compensating and doing unilateral exercises. It would be great if and when it ever comes up to par with my stronger leg.

When i do a single leg hip bridge on my weaker leg side, I still feel it in the hamstrings instead of the glutes, (stronger leg is all glutes) i don’t know if that would be any indication or a telltale sign if there’s improvement in the weaker leg.

[quote]bluerock wrote:

[quote]BReddy wrote:

[quote]bluerock wrote:

So the length was fine, he ran tests to determine why one leg was weaker. He determined the psoas/hip flexors was tight on the weaker leg and suggested some exercises that MAY help out, he said it’s not weak but tight. But he didn’t rule out a structural reason such as the femor near the hip could be slightly rotated internally in the weaker leg but no way in determining that except for x-rays.
[/quote]

You can assess this without x-rays. Your PT was referring to femoral anteversion. It’s considered clinically significant when greater than 45 degrees. Here’s an example from a client of mine (this is a pretty severe case):

One leg is normally weaker than the other. It’s just like hand dominance. Typically the leg opposite of your dominant hand is stronger i.e. if you’re right handed your left leg is a bit stronger than your left. [/quote]

well, when doing this both my legs were able to bend almost even.

yes , I’m right handed and my left leg is stronger. My PT also suggested besides the psoas tightness is to stengthen the gluteus medius muscle, but I think overall I’ve come a long way establishing the weaker leg into the fold at the gym by compensating and doing unilateral exercises. It would be great if and when it ever comes up to par with my stronger leg.

When i do a single leg hip bridge on my weaker leg side, I still feel it in the hamstrings instead of the glutes, (stronger leg is all glutes) i don’t know if that would be any indication or a telltale sign if there’s improvement in the weaker leg. [/quote]

Tight hip flexors / psoas can prevent the glutes from doing their job. If your hip flexors are indeed tight, loosening them up will help get your glutes firing.

Let me know if you need any good stretches for this.