It is estimated that 60-70% of people will experience lower back pain at some stage in their lifetime. One of the most common causes of lower back pain is pain coming from the quadratus lumborum muscle.
The QL is the deepest abdominal muscle. It’s located in your lower back on either side of the lumbar spine. It starts at your lowest rib and ends at the top of your pelvis. QL contributes to the stabilization and movement of the spine and the pelvis.
It is very common for the QL muscle to become tight and overactive; this is because it is compensating for other weak muscles around the area.
It can also become tight due to repetitive movement – such as twisting, bending, or lifting improperly – all of which puts added stress on the muscle. As the muscle becomes tighter it can develop trigger points in the area. Trigger points are tight bands of muscle which can lead to pain.
Activities that aggravate the muscle, such as prolonged sitting, can cause the muscle to become overactive and tight which in return leads to trigger points in the muscle. This is often the reason that a lot of people who work at a desk feel lower back pain regularly. Unequal leg length and trauma can also lead to increased QL tightness and the development of pain.
Quadratus lumborum trigger points may be to blame for a deep ache in your lower back or a stabbing pain in your hips or pelvis. They can also be the reason you might feel sharp pain when the QL contracts while you’re coughing or sneezing.
Trigger points in the quadratus lumborum can cause satellite trigger points in the gluteus minimus, which can lead to pain in the supply area of the sciatic nerve and thus transmit pain into your leg.
Symptoms of QL implicated Low Back Pain
Persistent deep aching pain, normally at rest and often in an unsupported upright position (sitting or standing). cause a sharp stabbing pain in the low back
Difficulty bending forward
Pain bending to the opposite side
Difficulty climbing stairs
Pain when rolling over in bed
Difficulty when rising from a chair
Pain when coughing or sneezing
Make it look like you have a leg shorter than the other by holding one side of your pelvis higher
Contribute to a lot of other issues such as patellofemoral pain, trochanteric bursitis, and scoliosis due to asymmetrical tension
How to prevent quadratus lumborum pain
You can prevent quadratus lumborum pain by keeping your body as fit as possible. Stay in shape and consider seeing some type of movement therapist to keep your body aligned. Treat pain as soon as it begins so that it doesn’t get any worse.
Perform movements that focus on stretching and strengthening the area. Side bends and stretches are important to release back tension and engage the side muscles. Do exercises that will lengthen the space between your ribs and pelvis. Yoga, Pilates, and tai chi are effective core strengtheners. Walking at a moderate pace can also help to ease back pain.
Through the right lower back stretches and exercises you can make this happen and decrease your risk. It not only speeds up recovery times but most importantly means you are less likely to get lower back pain again.
Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet in toward your hips
Relax your upper body and tuck your chin in slightly.
Engage your core as you press the small of your back into the floor.
Hold for 5 seconds. Relax for a few breaths.
Repeat 8–15 times.
Revolved head-to-knee pose
From a seated position, extend your right leg and bring your left heel in toward your groin.
Bend to the right, placing your right elbow on your leg, a block, or the floor with your palm facing up.
Extend your left arm up toward the ceiling and bring it down toward your right foot.
Tuck your chin in toward your chest and gaze up toward the ceiling.
Hold this pose for up to 1 minute.
Repeat on the left side.
Start in the same position as the standard crunch
Hold a ball at the center of your chest (but not resting on your chest).
Curl up without letting your chin touch your chest. The ball might move forward (toward your midsection), make sure that you’re holding it above you the entire time.
Lower back down with control for one rep.
Other ways to prevent quadratus lumborum PAIN
·Ensure you’re lifting heavy objects properly
Sleep in a position that’s conducive to reducing back pain
How to Treat Quadratus Lumborum Pain
QL pain that is treated in the early stages can usually be managed and improve over time. It could be a long process to fully heal this area of your body. But as long as you take steps to get better, you should see improvement. Try to stay as healthy as possible and eliminate the sources of your pain.
You can treat quadratus lumborum in several ways. Applying heat and ice can help to reduce pain and inflammation. Your doctor may also recommend you take some type of painkiller or muscle relaxant. Trigger point massage are another option.
Massage therapy can be useful to treat quadratus lumborum pain by treating the trigger points to reduce muscle tightness and increase blood flow to the area (the active trigger points are shown in the picture above), where the therapist will use their thumbs or elbow to target these specific spots.
Everyone loves a professional massage to work out the kinks and knots in their muscles. But if you don’t have the time or means to get on the table as often as you’d like, LittleMum massager can be the next best thing.
LittleMum Back Massager is recommended to loosen your spasming QL at home and shortened recovery time.
Lie on your back and place LittleMum Back Massager under your QL muscle, which you will find in-between the top of your pelvis and your bottom rib, off to each side of your spine. LittleMum Back Massager raises the pelvis/lumbar spine into neutral placing the muscle in a relaxed position to makes it easier to release deep trigger point. It is advised to do this great myofascial release once a day.
It is made of food -grade silicone , heavy and sturdy. Instead of only working on the muscles’ surface, LittleMum back trigger point massager can exert enough pressure that penetrate deeply to reach Quadratus Lumborum, the deepest abdominal muscle.
When it comes to massaging the hard to reach areas such as hips, glutes and tight back muscles, the elbow is the instrument of choice for most massage therapists. If you like your therapist using elbow to dig, dig, dig into your back, then LittleMum Deep Tissue Massager is a smart choice for you.
It does an amazing job releasing your tight lower back muscles (Quadratus Lumborum) and glutes ( Piriformis ) at one time without putting any pressure on the spine.
Lie back on the floor with your knees bent. Position LittleMum Massager on trigger point side under your lower back and buttock like picture above shows. Keep this massage short. Don’t spend too much time pressing on the muscle as it can backfire. Just start with about 30 seconds and increase that time as needed.
With special hand grips, the LittleMum Stainless Steel Massage Cane provides the leverage needed for proper massage pressure that is right for you.
You can purchase these products via LittleMum official website or Amazon. Both offer 30 days return policy and 15 years warranty. Worth a try.