Leg Length Dicrepancy, Curved spine and lifting Leg Length Dicrepancy, Curved spine and lifting

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Thread: Leg Length Dicrepancy, Curved spine and lifting

  1. #1
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    Jul 2020
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    Default Leg Length Dicrepancy, Curved spine and lifting

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    Hello coach,
    first of all sorry for my bad english.

    I have a question regarding my Leg Length Discrepancy. Bit of a long story before:
    My right leg is 1,5cm (0,6 inch) shorter than the left, because I broke my femur bone as a child.

    Because of that I have a Lateral Pelvic Tilt and a muscle imbalance. For example the left side of my lower back is more developed than the right. I can also feel that while deadlifting/squatting i activate the left side more than the right. Same with my left pec.
    My lower spine also has a tiny curve to the right side. But it's not as drastic as the pelvic tilt.
    When I asked my doctors if i should try to balance out the pelvic tilt they said it's not necessary. My spine balanced out the Leg length discrepancy and pelvic tilt by itself while growing up.

    I will attach two scans of my spine. In the first one you can see my spine with a neutral stance and in the second one i was wearing 2cm thick shoe insoles.
    You can see that the insoles balance out the pelvic tilt but worsen the curve of the spine.

    Now I'm wondering if I should start using insoles while lifting or just continue without. What would you suggest?

    I asked many doctors / orthopadics and got mixed answers. Some saying i shouldn't lift at all, one said I shouldn't do lifts that require symmetry like deadlift or squats. Others said its perfectly fine to lift heavy without insoles and can even prevent problems in the future.
    I rly don't wanna stop lifting because I'm very passionate about it, but also don't want to fuck up my body in the long term.

    I would love to hear your opinion!
    Thank you!




    Me and my stats:
    Male, 28 yo, 189cm (6,2), 96kg (210 lbs)
    Training history: Bodybuilding / Strength training (with pretty bad form) when i was 20-23 years old. After that 1 year no training and then light fitness training for about 2 years. Now I'm back taking powerlifting very serious for about 8-9 months.
    SSLP worked fine for me.

    Bench: 5x 110kg / 240lbs
    Press: 5x 60kg /130 lbs
    Squat: 5x 145kg / 320 lbs
    Deadlift: 5x 165kg / 365 lbs

  2. #2
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    Jul 2007
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  3. #3
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    Jul 2020
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    I was reading this article before i made this thread and found it very helpful. Thanks! This article actually made me start thinking about getting shims.

    I just think in my case it's a bit different. Because when I use insoles for my shorter leg my pelvis gets horizontally straight BUT the curve in my lumbar spine gets worse, as you can see in the photos. So wouldn't that put even more pressure on my lumbar spine?
    I don't want to make it worse.


    Here are the photos i talked about in my first post:

    neutral: Imgur: The magic of the Internet
    2cm insole: https://imgur.com/undefined

  4. #4
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    Default

    Fix your link.

  5. #5
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    Jul 2020
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    Default

    Here are the fixed links

    neutral: Imgur: The magic of the Internet
    2cm insole: 2cm insole right foot - Album on Imgur

  6. #6
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    Jul 2020
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    Default

    Hello Mr. Rippetoe,

    i made scans of the photos so you can see the difference in my spine better.

    neutral: neutral - Album on Imgur
    2cm insole: 2cm insole right foot - Album on Imgur

    Can you please have a look at these photos and my question from above? Still unsure if i should work out with shims or not, since it has an impact on my curved spine.

    I don't want to use you as a free net doctor but i would really value your opinion.
    I have visited so many different physios and doctors and none could give me clear advice and wanted to really help.
    So i hope to get some clarity here.


    I also want to mention that i switched to sumo deadlifts recently, which feels very good and natural. I don't have a super tight feeling in the left muscles of my lumbar spine that i used to have from deadlifts.

    Thank you for your time!

  7. #7
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    Jul 2020
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    Fix your link.
    Wanted to ask is you could still have a look at the scans and my problem.
    Thanks

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    I have the same problem as you. I shim. Unfortunately, shims only correct the asymmetry caused by a short shinbone. Since you (I assume) have a short femur like I do, squats and deadlifts will always be asymmetric, and there is no correcting this. For me this causes pretty significant muscle imbalances through my quads and, more significantly, my entire back, but I progressed from a 90lb squat to 405 for a triple regardless. Iím content with knowing that the shim at least fixes the pelvic tilt.

  9. #9
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    Jul 2020
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    starting strength coach development program
    I also have a short femur and significant muscle imbalances. Especially in lower back, harmstrings and chest.
    Maybe i have to get used to always be asymmetric in deadlifts and squats.
    I progressed well but lately im a bit afraid to put on more weight because of the chance of injury due to the asymmetry. Sometimes i get a sore lower back from squatting/deadlifting.

    Are you using shims all the time or just during training?

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