Hi, I'm Dr. Molly with Your Goals Physical Therapy. Have you been stuck squatting the same weight and you cannot push past it for whatever reason you start having low back achy pains, that lasts for a few days or maybe one side is just really sharp. In some cases, some people describe that they can't control the butt wink. So where your hip tucks underneath, or they have a little wiggle. They squat down and then they shift over and all of these things are limiting how much you can squat or how well you can squat. You're just frustrated. You're trying to figure out what it is that you're doing wrong, That's not letting you progress.
I want to ask, has anybody ever suggested that you might have a leg length discrepancy? And this is why? So a leg length discrepancy means that one leg is longer than the other, longer is shorter depending on what you're talking about. Right?
You can have an anatomical or a fixed leg length discrepancy, which is measurable. You take a measuring tape and you find one landmark and another on one leg and you find the exact same ones on another leg. You compare those two. They should basically be the same number and that if they're not, then you have a discrepancy. One leg is longer than the other. Now a functional leg length discrepancy happens when one of your hip bones shifts out of place and functionally changes the length of your hip. It puts it into a position where it's longer.
So how would that happen? Let's talk about this. So you have your hip bones, which several are connected by ligaments and they attach to your sacrum. When you can't control the tuck under, it's the butt that's coming underneath, right? It's this, you're not able to stabilize your back, your butt is tucking under. when it's the hip wiggle. It means, you know, when you're going down and you just have to wiggle a little bit. One side gets caught and then it wiggles and it helps uncaught. So, but back to leg length discrepancy, what happens is that since these sides move independently, (maybe not so much on my model that they do in real life), they move independent of each other.
If it goes backwards, one hip moves and it's actually making that leg shorter. If I pull this back, this leg is getting pulled up. It's making it shorter than the other side. The opposite happens. If I push it forward, if I push one hip bone forward, it's functionally making that leg longer than the other side.
That whole movement is not unusual. The problem is when it gets stuck in that position. Each time you move your leg, there's a little bit of a shift, but depending on what's going on with your hips and the ligaments and some other things, it can get stuck. It's easy to get that to adjust out. It doesn't mean you need surgery, but when that does happen, it's changing how everything relates to itself.
What do I mean by that? All the muscles are used to being in a certain position. So if that one hip gets pulled into a different position and is stuck there, it puts a lot of strain on your back. Especially if this is really aggressive or it's really out of position, people will describe having a sharp pain in that right or left side, but right in the back, right where you would have a dimple, it's a very sharp pain.
Some people have pain when they put weight on that foot. It's all from the same thing from that hip getting turned either forward or backwards and stuck out of place. It also affects your hamstrings. It affects your hip flexors. It affects your abdominal muscles. It actually can affect all the way down to your feet because that little bit of a change, especially when you're trying to be an athlete, that little bit of a change is huge for your overall performance.
If you've been trying very, very hard to increase your squat either depth, strength, form, all of these things, it doesn't take a huge change in your anatomy to make a big difference on the back end in your performance.
I help people all the time, decipher out what is happening at their hips and their pelvis to get them to maximize their hamstring and their quad strength to get them the power that they want, to get back to lifting at the level that they're looking for. All of that is to save your low back, your knees, your ankles. It all helps all of that also, so that you're able to lift for years to come. Because just like anything else, if it's slightly off, then it's gonna be adding extra stress to other things.
So again, back to that, if that hip bone has been moved forward or moved backward, your lower back oftentimes cramps so that it doesn't keep moving and that ends up being one of the drivers for many people to have chronic back pain. It's just the fact that your body shifted a little bit out of place. Your body doesn't like things to shift. It reacts to that by contracting, and now you have pain. If it's only happening while you're lifting, then there may be something in the mechanics on how you're lifting, that's causing it to happen in your everyday life. It could also be something that you're doing when you're moving around, that's unbeknownst to you and by adjusting your strength and how you're moving, you completely eliminate all pain. And again, get back to lifting the way you want because that's what it's all about.
So if you are trying to find out more information about how to stop back pain and get back to living your best life, I have an ebook that I have set out about back pain and a little bit more information on how to treat it at home and what to do with that. I will leave a link for that.
Also if some of this sounds like treatment or session that you might be interested in, but you're not a hundred percent sure. I save a few visits every week for what I call discovery visits and discovery visits are 20 minute free session. We ‘ll sit down together. You tell me what your goals are. Talk to me about what the problem is, and we figure out if I'm the right fit for you or where you need to go next so that you can get back to lifting the way that you want.
I hope you're having a great day. Bye.
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WE HELP ACTIVE ADULTS OVERCOME THEIR ACHES AND PAINS TO GET THEM BACK TO THEIR FAVORITE ACTIVITIES WITHOUT MEDICATION, INJECTIONS OR SURGERIES.
Dr. Molly McDonald