Triathlete with Back Pain and Leg Length Difference

//Triathlete with Back Pain and Leg Length Difference


I am reaching out to see if you can help! I am 31 years old.

In 2013 I had a steroid injection/epidural in my lower lumbar area because of back pain.  I went to physical therapy and the therapist pointed out that my hips were uneven.  MRI showed spinal stenosis and bulged discs.

Went to PT and got better but then my back started having spasms and I have been getting trigger point injections to calm them down (about every 3 months).  At the last appointment I said I am feeling pain when I run in my left lower back.  He did a trigger point injection in my S-I joint and the pain went away!  He said he thinks one leg may be longer, but didn’t tell me which one or what to do!

Can you direct me on who to see or what to do?  I live in Las Vegas and am not sure if I should see a physical therapist (I called mine and they said they don’t do a leg discrepancy test) or a running specialist?

When I take pictures, I noticed the right hip is quite a bit higher than my left hip.  All my pain is in my left side – from low back, all the way up to shoulder blade and sometimes even my neck.  I am thinking my left leg is shorter, but I want to make sure before I put any inserts or try to fix it myself.



The proper test is a CT scan to measure both of your femurs, Tibias and joint spaces.  The radiologist can measure the difference down to the micrometer.

You would then use a full length insole on the shorter side to attempt to reduce the difference by at least 50% at first and observe the result.

We make the full length lifts and ship them regularly.

After watching the video if I can answer any questions for you let me know.  You have some significant issues in your back according to your MRI results.  Balancing the leg length may be one part of the equation.  Research supports that even small differences in leg length can lead to knee, hip and lower back conditions such as you have.

Association of Mild Leg Length Discrepancy and Degenerative Changes in the Hip Joint and Lumbar Spine.

Mild leg length discrepancy affects lower limbs, pelvis and trunk biomechanics of individuals with knee osteoarthritis during gait.

Functional scoliosis caused by leg length discrepancy.

By | 2017-05-18T13:56:51+00:00 May 16th, 2017|Low Back Pain|0 Comments

About the Author:

Dr. Runco is a U.S. Navy and Gulf War Veteran. He began private practice in 2000 primarily treating and fixing running injuries. He has been a professor of Anatomy, Physiology, and Biomechanics at various colleges and continues to teach continuing education in the fields of rehabilitation, custom orthotics and athletic taping. He is also a member of the American College of Sports Medicine, National Strength and Conditioning Association and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. He has completed over 15 Marathons in 15 states and has run 11 50 mile Ultramarathons.

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