I’ve been a big fan of chiropractors for A LOT of years! A very good friend of mine was a BIG part of keeping me healthy and training hard even though my body was failing me. So, when I tell you I get frustrated with how some health professionals address things like the infamous leg length differences it is NOT to say ALL are wrong!
Yet, even as I moved to Las Vegas and was trying to find a new team to keep me healthy and moving I was frustrated with the number of people that would evaluate me ice cold and tell me I had leg length differences. It wasn’t that they were wrong, but there IS a difference between functional and structural leg length changes.
A lot of people if you put them on a table or evaluate them would appear as though they have one leg longer than another. HOWEVER, if you go up the chain to their hips you will find that their pelvis is also off. This is often a sign that most people have functional changes to their leg length. Basically that means their body is compensating in a manner that throws off their pelvis giving the impression that one leg is longer than another. This ALSO means one of the worst things you can do in such a case is give people heel lifts or other such devices.
Rather, we want to address WHY this is happening. So, why would I look like I have functional adaptations? Well, unfortunately, I spend A LOT of my day sitting behind a computer (even though I get up quite a bit, the time is still in favor of sitting). I had a fusion where they went through the front of my abdominal wall causing changes to nerves, fascia, and muscle. I had nerve damage from 25 years of a disc being badly herniated and stenosis forming at many levels all through my spine. In other words, a lot of different reasons my body could be altering it’s posture and positioning.
Does this mean I am doomed? Absolutely NOT, it DOES mean that I often have to prioritize specific activation drills and I even may do them doing the course of the day when I feel my body is off. After years of trying a lot of different strategies, activation is my preferred method as I have done stretching and chiropractic adjustments. Here is the thing, a lot of that work is often passive in nature and doesn’t impact the nervous system in a more permanent manner.
That is why my good chiropractic friend would adjust me and then recommend doing exercises like today’s DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training movements to help solidify those changes. Most people get adjusted and then just go on with their day, wrong move and a waste of time!
So, why does THIS DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training drill work SO well for leg length issues? For a few reasons. The first is that most people have weakness in their lateral stabilizers of the body. We do a GREAT job of training up and down, we usually suck at anything from side to side and more importantly learning to RESIST side to side actions.
Secondly, we are specifically targeting the natural chains of the body. We have spoken about them individually here, but the truth is they are all working at the same time. The more we can have multiple chains being emphasized the faster and better results we achieve.
You see those that still promote the activation or training of a specific muscle don’t really understand how the body works. If one muscle is weak or not working we have to look at how it impacts the chain. Also, if it isn’t working then sometimes we can get it working by focusing on activating the chain that it belongs to, not just trying to isolate it!
That is why you will see side planks very differently and their impact in improving our movement after this DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training video by physical therapist, Jessica Bento!