QL Stretches to Relax Your Spine: How to Fix Quadratus Lumborum Pain?
Quadratus lumborum (or simply “the big one”) is a group of muscles located just above your hip bones. These muscles are responsible for supporting the weight of your spine and keeping it from rounding forward when walking or sitting. They also play a role in maintaining proper posture.
The quadratus lumborum is comprised of four parts: the frontalis muscle, the rectus femoris muscle, the semimembranosus muscle and the iliacus muscle. All these muscles work together to keep your spine straight and stable.
When they aren’t working properly, your back may start rounding forward (knees out).
The quadratus lumborum is a very common area where people experience back pain. Many times, the problem isn’t actually with the quadratus lumborum itself; rather, it’s with other areas of your spinal column.
For example, if you have a herniated disc in your lower back, then you might also suffer from symptoms related to your upper back muscles such as sciatica or even fibromyalgia. These problems can also be the result of a pinched nerve.
Another common source of pain and injury in this area is simply bad posture or repeated movements that put strain on it. For example, most people experience tightness in their quadratus lumborum because they spend so much time sitting in front of a computer.
Likewise, an office worker may suffer from pain and injury in this area simply by hunching over a desk and typing all day.
Unfortunately, muscle tissues that are constantly under tension can become “tired” and begin to feel uncomfortable. This can lead to pain in the area.
The pain may be caused by trigger points or it may be caused by an active infection. Either way, you should see your doctor as soon as possible before the pain worsens or the problem spreads to other areas of your back.
If your problem is triggered by an infection, then treatment will consist of antibiotics. If your pain is caused by trigger points or “micro-tears” in the tissue, then your doctor may give you a cortisone shot in the area.
In both cases, pain relievers may help to reduce inflammation and lower your discomfort levels until the problem can be addressed properly.
As always, if you think that you are suffering from a more serious condition, then you should seek immediate medical attention. Ignoring these types of problems can lead to a worse overall outcome or a longer recovery period.
Stretches and Exercises to Fix Quadratus Lumborum Pain
The good thing about quadratus lumborum pain is that it can be resolved through stretches and exercises that don’t cost a lot of money. Many times, people who experience pain in this area find that it improves on its own after a few weeks.
As long as you don’t do anything that could cause further injury such as lifting heavy objects or returning to sports too soon, then your condition should get better on its own with a little patience.
There are also several stretches and exercises that can speed up the healing process. Most of these exercises focus on stretching the muscles in your lower back and strengthening your core muscles.
If you want to take care of this problem on your own, then you will need to make a routine of these exercises and perform them on a daily basis.
The first exercise is for your hip flexors which run from your thighs to your hips and attach to your lower back. If these are tight or in spasm, then they can pull your pelvis into an unnatural position, which puts strain on your lower back.
The best way to release your hip flexors is the stand with your feet hips width apart and gently press your knees together. Then lift your knee up as high as you can and slowly lower it. You should feel this in the front of your hip. Be sure to do both legs.
The next exercise is for your transverse abdominus which is a deep core muscle that cinches your stomach area. When this muscle is weak, it can cause your belly to stick out.
When it’s in spasm, it can pull your lower back muscles causing pain. To exercise this muscle, draw your belly button in as far as you can and hold it for a count of ten. Be sure to not hunch over or round your back while you do this.
The last exercise is for your quadratus lumborum. Lie on your back with your knees bent.
Place your hands beside your head and slightly pull your shoulders off the floor. The goal is to keep your hips raised and your lower back pressed to the floor.
After you have completed all of these exercises, you should hold your lower back in this stretched position for about a minute. This will help to gradually stretch out the muscles that are causing you pain.
Be sure not to bounce or jerk around. You should go slowly and feel the burn, but never pain. If you feel pain then you are probably stretching deeper layers of muscle than your body is ready for.
In addition to stretching out your lower back, you can also strengthen your “core” which includes your abdomen, back and hips with a variety of exercises. Squats and lunges are two of the best exercises for your core.
They strengthen the muscles that your body naturally uses every day. Just don’t push yourself too hard or do anything that causes sharp pains in your back.
Sources & references used in this article:
Effectiveness of muscle energy technique on quadratus lumborum in acute low back pain-randomized controlled trial by PN Patil, B Chandu, S Metgud, S Khatri – Indian Journal of …, 2010 – academia.edu
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Back pain revisited by CE Saudek, KA Palmer – Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, 1987 – jospt.org
Example Myofascial Pain Case: Quadratus Lumborum Trigger Point and Chronic Low Back Pain by BH Hall – Evaluation and Management of Chronic Pain for …, 2020 – Springer
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