The idea of having a leg length discrepancy and how it might relate to back pain or other issues is something that comes up in the clinic all the time. Having a difference in leg lengths is quite common though for the most part these will only be noticeable when lying on the couch rather than when standing as they aren't congenital, that is to say there isn't a difference in the length of the bones. The apparent difference comes from tension in the soft tissues of the thigh and hip which pull on the femur and/or pelvis giving the appearance of a difference in length between the two legs.

There’s often a lot of fuss made about biomechanics and injury prevention and how they relate to one another. In the clinic this tends to appear in the misconception that the better my running technique is, or other appropriate activity,  the less likely I am to get injured. Yet whilst this is true to some extent there’s less of a direct relationship than you might think between biomechanics and  injury. If we are looking at how likely we are to get injured how well the movement is performed is less important than how much load is placed on the tissues involved when performing it. So how much you do has a much bigger impact on whether an injury might occur or not rather than the actual way you’re doing it.

I often find when clients develop nonspecific aches and pains they start, almost randomly, introducing low load rehab work into their program in an attempt to solve the problem.  This is usually done after a quick google search which makes various reasonable suggestions as to what might be wrong and the exercises to do to help the problem. This though really doesn't tackle the problem well, if at all, given it misses out looking at why the aches and pains developed to begin with.

When the sciatic nerve becomes irritated it can create pain, pins and needles or numbness down the back of the leg. Nerves can be compressed, trapped or irritated in a number of ways at the point where it leaves the spine but there is quite a bit of space around the nerve at this point so the chances of it getting pinched here are low. If it does happen the most common of way is where a disc herniates and pushes against the nerve. Whilst this is the most common way for the nerve to become “trapped” it is still only likely to affect 1 in 10 of those suffering from back pain.

Last weekend I had the pleasure, again, of doing a workshop at Crossfit BG with Bob Clark and the crew. I had done a couple last year and they had been a lot of fun and this one was no exception. The workshop covered all things deadlifting and we looked at warm up ideas, breathing, deadlift technique and why we want to maintain a neutral or fixed spinal position. 20160305_135751