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Uneven Muscle Development – Result of Old Injury?(2 posts)

Uneven Muscle Development – Result of Old Injury?Howard2
Mar 12, 2002 12:18 PM
17 years ago I noticed very obvious uneven muscle development in my legs following a crash. My right thigh muscles became noticeably smaller than those of my left leg. At the time I wondered if the crash hadn't altered the alignment of my frame, or the placement of my cleats, in some manner that caused me to favor my right leg or push harder with my left. Coincidently I started a new job that made less time for riding and I drifted away from cycling. The muscle asymmetry disappeared as both legs lost muscle development. I only rode occasionally until September of last year when I returned to more serious cycling to regain lost fitness. Over the last month I've noticed that the muscle development in my right thigh is much less that my left – to the point that friends notice and comment on it. I'm on a new bike, new shoes, etc. So it seems unlikely that alignment or cleat problems have caused this. All I can think of is that I sustained some sort of un-noticed injury in the crash that was responsible and is currently affecting me.

Has anyone experienced anything similar and do you have any ideas what to do about it? Prior to the crash my legs were equal and I recall no particular pain associated with either leg (but it was awhile ago). I don't knowingly favor either leg now and the calf musculature of both legs is similar.

Several years ago I asked my physican about this, but the difference wasn't very noticeable at the time (I'd only ridden a couple of months) and he wasn't particularly interested and told me not to worry about it (the typical HMO "Good health by denial" strategy).

I'd appreciate any suggestions.

Assymetry not uncommon, but ...Humma Hah
Mar 12, 2002 3:18 PM
... many riders are right-legged, me included. I've always started with my right, and can press about 30 lbs more force with that leg (not enough to make a visible difference in the muscles).

Do you routinely start with the left leg?

I would not rule out an injury, possibly even nerve damage, but I ain't no doctor. Sounds like you need either a doctor with a sports medicine or rehab background, or even a good physical therapist (they frequently have studied muscle function more thoroughly than the typical GP). General practitioners tend to be very good at "medicine" (i.e. they are pill-pushers), but may be alarmingly weak at physiology.