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naspa

Different length legs

Ok basic problem. My legs are different lengths. Not a huge difference but enough to make riding painful. The result is bad hips and back and as a result it limits my riding. So what is the best solution to this?
bbnaz

Maybe a built up shoe for the shorter leg? Or a longer crank on that side? Interesting dilemna.
naspa

It's not a huge difference about 1.5cm to 2cm. And normally when walking I have some things that just fit inside ordinary shoes but riding seems to make it worse.

The difference seems to be in the length of my shins which grew at different rates when I was a teenager.

Most of the pain I get is in my hips.

I know that riders who come back from broken legs often have different length legs - ie Pantani, Luc Le Blanc, Moncoutie.
tiggertoo

You could break the other leg and make it longer Razz

Do you have any other distinguishing features?
CapeRoadie

Naspa, try turning the nose of your saddle away from the short leg side slightly to see if this helps.
CapeRoadie

I'll tell you this: letting some air out of your tyres (that's how you lads spell it, right, tyres?) will cushion your ride immensely if you have not already tried this. If you ride a road bike, your tyres are your ONLY shock absorption. Further, applying more force, in a tougher gear ratio may cause you to have back and hip pain. Not having strong enough "core" muscles is a major cause of LBP (low back pain). Those stabilizing muscles of the spine (multifidus, transverse abdominis and others) need ENDURANCE training. A slow, gradual progression of lumbar spinal exercises may be in order.

How do you know leg length inequality has anything to do with your pain? A difference of 10 mm or less is considered by most to be insignificant, btw. Yes, I have real expertise in this area of physical medicine. Not to brag, just to let you know I am legally accountable for any and all medical advice I give, whether it be on-line or not.

Have you been professionally fitted to your bike?
CapeRoadie

naspa wrote:
It's not a huge difference about 1.5cm to 2cm. And normally when walking I have some things that just fit inside ordinary shoes but riding seems to make it worse.

The difference seems to be in the length of my shins which grew at different rates when I was a teenager.

Most of the pain I get is in my hips.

I know that riders who come back from broken legs often have different length legs - ie Pantani, Luc Le Blanc, Moncoutie.


Okay, just read this.

15-20 mm is significant.

Since the leg length discrepancy is in the tibia. Have you tried an orthotic insert in the riding shoe of the short tibia? Or a "heel lift" in that shoe?

The tilted saddle idea works for me; I have the same problem. But I can tell you that if the problem is hip pain, there can be muscular causes that can be corrected with the proper exercises, to compensate for the LLI (leg length inequality) structural asymmetry.

See a good physiotherapist or good sports chiropractic physician where you live. They should be familiar with athletes and very familiar with cycling-related issues.

Good luck!
naspa

Certain kinds of pedalling makes it worse - especially when I get out of the saddle. But yes, my knees, hips, and shoulders are out of kilter. Super bad posture and associated ailments from computer work.

I have an insert which works well - on the rare occassions I don't wear it I am in agony by the end of the day or ride.

The shin thing is a hang-over from Osgood-Schlatters.

I am sure that within itself it is not that hard to sort out but it will take time and money to get the wonky bits of me straight. Two things I don't have at the moment.
tourmalet

can you get cranks of different lengths to compensate? I've heard of that being done before.
thunderthighs

add a spacer under your cycling shoe..

ciao

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