Short Leg Syndrome

Hi all I need some advice please.

I started running about 14 weeks ago as I am in training for my first marathon, London.

Everything was fine until two weeks ago when I completed my first half marathon as part of my training.  I finished this okay but suffered the next day with sore shins. This continued for a few days and steadily got worse until I could not even walk. My right leg got better after about a week but the left one is still just as painful and I am unable to run. I went and saw a Physio in the week who diagnosied shin splints, she recommended rest, ice, massage and no running.

I went to the sweatshop to ask about trainers, they filmed me and have now put me in a over pronation show as my left foot turns from right to left in mid stride, they claim this will help the shin splints.

I also went and saw a podiatist who then told me I had short leg Syndrome. She measured my legs and she informed me that my left leg is shorter than my right by nearly two cm. I have suffered for over twenty years with a bad back and sciatica, all down the left hand side, also I put my SI joint out three weeks ago and my left knee is sore. All my injuries are on the left hand side of my body!! I am now having some orthotics made for my trainers at a stupid price but I dont have any options if I want to continue running. The podiatist tells me that I should be able to run in maybe two/three weeks and hopefully the orthotics, and new trainers should keep the shin splints away.

The other problem I have now is I cant run so I cant train. I am trying to subsitute crosstraing for running. When I run I burn 900 calories an hr and cover six miles.  My logic tells me if I use a crosstrainer like this I can do my long runs like this, ie - six miles=900 calories/ 1hr, twelve miles= 1800 calories/2hrs and so on. Will this keep my fitness levels up and also how effective will this be??

 Any help with this would be greatly appreciated.....



  • beebsbeebs ✭✭✭
    Chop off your balls and sit in a hot oilbath.
  • I had a similar problem last year - shin splints & painful hip. I don't have short leg syndrome but poor posture which leads to a right hip drop (about an inch) occasionally.

    I saw my chiropractor who referred me to a podiatrist.

    The podiatrist recommended orthotics.The orthotics cost a fortune and crippled me. I couldn't even walk in, them never mind run.

    Finally I went to have a gait analysis at Triactive. I overpronate slightly on my right. They recommended a pair of stability shoes and I haven't looked back. 

  • Oh dear- if you can't run at al just now, and have to get used to new shoes/ orthotics/ and have missed a few weeks of training, I think you are going to struggle to get round. Honestly- defer your place, take time to recover properly, start running again when you are really fit, and build up more slowly- wait until you can do a half marathon without causung an injury, before you tackle the marathon, if you persist with trying to do the marathon this year you will be sidelined for months. 14 weeks is too little running background to tackle the marathon, unless you are VERY lucky, next year will be a better plan.

    I think the best form of cross training in your situation is pool running/ deep water running.

  • ....we've all got length differences. Thankfully we're pretty good at compensating for them.

    Unless you're an elite level athlete (thinking you are one doesn't count!) and have had a leg length measurement X-ray, don't go near changing LLD's in the long term.

    You are dealing with the devil if you do....
  • This forum on Short Leg Syndrome was excellent. However, the discussion on the link between a hyperpronated foot and short leg syndrome was not presented.

    I encourage you to look at the published research (including my own) at Your comments would be most welcomed.

    Professor Rothbart
  • Check out your local pool.  They might do aqua-jogging which many have done when in recovery mode.  Good luck.  I fear I’ve got SLS too - but it affects both legs which while of equal length are much shorter than everyone else’s!  Good for my daily step count.
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