Leg length difference.

freehub
freehub Posts: 4,257
edited July 2010 in Road beginners
I am wondering.

Could a difference in leg length of 2cm be a possible cause for any problems, such as knee and back problems?

My left leg is 2cm shorter than my right, and really I need to somehow compensate for this, is there anyway I can compensate for it?


Thanks.

Comments

  • redddraggon
    redddraggon Posts: 10,862
    freehub wrote:
    My left leg is 2cm shorter than my right, and really I need to somehow compensate for this, is there anyway I can compensate for it?

    Cut 2cm off your right leg. Job done.
    I like bikes...

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  • rake
    rake Posts: 3,204
    one of napd's post he said the bike fitter put a spacer under one of his cleats for leg length discrepency. he was pleased with the result. i think its quite common to have slightly different length legs and many people dont know, i for one have never measured mine and dont have enough spare cash for a bike fit.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    Very much so. I had knee and back probs and that was due to a 1cm diference! All solved now...
  • hopper1
    hopper1 Posts: 4,389
    Yes, different leg lengths may cause back/hip ache, etc...
    1cm is about the most it is advised to counter, using spacers/shims.
    You can also move the cleat on one shoe, to effectively lengthen/ shorten your legs.
    Different length cranks, too.
    Also depends where the shortfall is... Upper, or lower leg!
    Start with a budget, finish with a mortgage!
  • mattward1979
    mattward1979 Posts: 692
    Different leg length will cause your hips to rock when you out effort through "Stumpy". This in turn will cause you all manner of ailments if you are planning on long rides.

    Get yourself fitted for an insert for your shoes!
    exercise.png
  • dennisn
    dennisn Posts: 10,601
    Some years back a rider in our club had his left leg lengthened by 60mm. Long story short- the doctors cut the bones in his lower leg completely in half - inserted pins in the upper and lower cut sections - put a threaded rod(outside the body) between the two pins(sort of a turnbuckle affair). Each day he turned this contraption a single revolution and this moved the bone ends apart 1mm. Bingo, 60 days later both legs were the same length. He was even able to ride his bike DURING all of this, although obviously at an easy pace.
  • simon johnson
    simon johnson Posts: 1,064
    Get some Bikefit wedges and stack them to account for the discrepancy, I don't think that you're supposed to compensate for the entire amount though? Then again, this may depend on where the leg is shorter or it may just be a skew pelvis...

    Have you seen a podiatrist/physio?
    Where\'s me jumper?
  • pilot_pete
    pilot_pete Posts: 2,120
    I have something similar. I only found out when I visited a Chiropracter as the pain between my shoulder blades (which I'd had for years) was starting to really annoy me.

    With a few minutes he had diagnosed the problem being differing leg lengths, which obviously was causing my pelvis to tilt down slightly to one side, which then means the spine above the pelvis is slightly off vertical, which it compensates for further up (where I was getting this nagging ache) and then to cap it off (pun intended), it meant my head wasn't on straight!!!! Well it was, but the spine going into the skull was slightly skewed.

    So your spine will compensate for all of this. I had a dull ache from my twenties, and I am now 43 and it WILL get worse as you get older.

    I now visit the Chiropracter every 3 months or so and he 'sorts' me out with a few clunks and clicks!!! Well worth the £35 a visit.

    I did see a podiatrist who sold me these rediculously expensive heel raises (only 5mm, my difference is about 13mm), but I didn't really get on with them as it raises your heel in the shoe. Obviously the ideal solution is for the heel itself to be higher (you know, like the ones Quazimodo wears :lol: ) and the sole of the shoe too (to keep the ankle at the right angle, but that was a step too far.........oooohhhh!

    Find yourself a good Chiropracter, it is a revelation to be 'manipulated' back into the correct shape! After my first treatment I felt like a jelly man my spine was so free! The pain between my shoulder blades was caused by three vertebrae being pulled tight together by support muscles in spasm. They were so tight there was no movement between the vertebrae!

    Hope you find this helpful.

    PP
  • Rich Hcp
    Rich Hcp Posts: 1,355
    freehub wrote:
    I am wondering.

    Could a difference in leg length of 2cm be a possible cause for any problems, such as knee and back problems?

    My left leg is 2cm shorter than my right, and really I need to somehow compensate for this, is there anyway I can compensate for it?


    Thanks.

    My left leg has about the same difference.

    I was born with a short tendon in my left ankle, its weaker and has limited movement, I drop that foot when I walk. I have a 12.5mm extension to the heel of my left shoe.

    I can't put that foot down on the bikes, partly because it doesn't reach the floor :shock: and its isn't strong enough to push off or even stand still because the ankle gives way :shock:

    I have the occasional back spasm, though not often and when the weather changes my hip hurtts, but thats it.

    On my roadie (Spez Allez Sport 2007) I have standard length cranks, 105 SPD SL pedals and shoes. There's no build up because it would serve no purpose.

    On the MTB I have flats and use normal trainers with a 12.5cm wedge on the heel end (Looks shite, but what can you do?)

    I've not had any problems with cycling, I don't know it any different I suppose.

    It probably depends which part of the leg is affected.

    I must be compensating because the calf is thinner on the left side, but the thigh is bigger than the other one!

    As I say, no problems, I did a century a couple of weeks ago, with no problems in that area.

    I did investigate different length cranks, but that would have caused problems in my view, because my posture compensates for the defect and a difference in the cranks would have pushed my posture the other way.

    Have you experianced problems, or are you trying to anticipate?

    If its the latter, I would try it and see how you go, go for SPDs and get the positioning right.

    If you do have problems, you probably need medical advice, our bodies are clever and often compensate without us knowing
    Richard

    Giving it Large
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 42,101
    Sean Yates used to ride with one shoe built up I think due to unequal legs. I've got the same issue but it doesn't seem to cause me a problem on the bike.