Quadratus Lumborum – Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

What is Quadratus Lumborum? 

The Quadratus Lumborum muscle informally known as QL is the deepest abdominal muscle which can be referred to as back muscle but is actually part of the deep core. The QL muscles are located on both sides of the lumbar spine. They attach to the iliac crest of the pelvis in the lower back region, between the pelvis and lowest rib. 

Just like any other muscle in a human body, QL is an important muscle as it plays an essential role in stabilizing the pelvis when a person is sitting or standing with a straight back. It also supports the core of the body when breathing. The QL muscle is the main source of lower back pain and might also affect a person’s physical well-being. The QL pain interferes in a person’s daily life in a way that he/she suffers from pain while sitting, standing, or walking. 

The QL Pain and Symptoms of QL Dysfunction  

QL pain is a low back pain which is explained as a deep aching pain that discomforts the muscle that is located deep in the lower back on both sides of the spine. The pain may interfere in a person’s everyday activities that involve standing, walking, sitting but it gets sharp at the specific movement that is while sneezing or coughing. This pain can refer to the groin and mimic sciatica symptoms and the person might have one side of the pelvis raised higher than the other. The QL pain can be acute or chronic, which means either for 2 to 4 months or long-lasting which might affect a person physically. For example, if a person’s Quadratus Lumborum gets tight and painful it may affect their posture, like the way they stand or sit which will eventually lead to other body parts being stressed like the hip gets to suffer and this causes further injury.

Causes

There are many causes of Quadratus Lumborum pain which include:

1)   Poor Posture

A poor posture while sitting or standing may stress the Quadratus Lumborum which leads to pain. Sitting without back support, leaning to one side, or slouching will cause the muscles to get tight and stiff.

2)   Sitting for too long

Activities involving sitting for a long time period cause continuous contraction of the QL muscles which reduces the blood flow in certain areas including QL and its surroundings that makes it painful.

3)   Weak Muscles

If the muscles around the quadratus lumborum are weak, it results in other muscles working harder than normal. The QL muscles work harder to support the body and eventually they get overworked and tense. 

4)   Unequal Length of Legs

The uneven lengths of legs may add stress to various muscles of a human body including the quadratus lumborum muscle. If one leg is shorter than the other the pelvis will be higher on the side of the longer leg and even leaning it can stress the muscles and leads to severe pain.

5)   Other Reasons

If a person has suffered from a sports injury or a car accident that has affected the QL, this will cause pain in the QL muscle. 

Everyday activities that involve heavy weight lifting or weight that is uplifted in an incorrect manner will cause the quadratus lumborum muscle to get still and the person suffers from pain.

Ways to Release QL muscle Pain

There are several ways to treat QL muscle pain. It can be treated at home by stretching or performing yoga. If it is severe the person needs to undergo medical treatment and the medications may help to reduce the pain.

Some common treatments are:

1)   Exercise 

There are many exercises that help a person reduce low back pain and Yoga is one of the effective ways followed by different body Stretch.

a)Yoga

Yoga is an exercise that enhances a person’s strength, flexibility, and breathing and improves their mental and physical well-being.

It also helps in reducing back pain and provides comfort by releasing the QL muscle. 

b)   Stretches

There are many stretches that help to release the QL muscle few are discussed below:

QL Wall Stretch

The person should stand with the side against the wall. The hips must be touching the wall. Now, you need to raise your arm (one that is against the wall) and allow it to move forward and backward at an angle. This is a nice stretch for QL muscle release. 

Lying down Stretch

Lying down with face-up, the arms to be extended fully on both sides. Now bend both knees and cross the right leg over the left leg. Let the legs drop to the right, as far as is possible. Stay in this position for 20 seconds then repeat with the other leg.

c)   Massage ball

The most common way to get rid of the QL muscle pain is through a massage ball or tennis ball. Place this ball under the QL muscle which is located on both sides of the spine between the pelvis and bottom rib (last vertebrae)

Now bring your knee up towards your chest on the same side where the ball is placed. This will add pressure to the ball. Keep changing the positions until you find the right spot. Do this exercise for 1 to 2 minutes and then repeat it with the other leg.

2) Massage Therapy

Massage is the most effective way to treat QL pain as the tightness in muscles reduces and so blood flow to the area increases. A physical therapist guides you on ways to strengthen your lower back and iliopsoas so they get strong enough to support your body weight.

Applying heat or ice to this area is also beneficial. The heat will increase the blood flow and lessen the pain while the ice will decrease inflammation. 

A warm bath can also help to release the QL muscle and reduce pain.

3) Medication

Drugs that include pain killers and muscle relaxants are advised as they release the QL muscle. Although they may have side effects like dry mouth, fatigue, and drowsiness. It should be consumed as prescribed.

4) Trigger Point Injection

A trigger point injection is a medication that is injected directly to the trigger point which reduces the pain. The injection used is a steroid and it is an anesthetic, as it numbs the area.

These trigger point injections are useful in decreasing tightness and Quadratus Lumborum pain.

Quadratus Lumborum Release

The quadratus lumborum muscle can be infamously tight in some people. To reduce the discomfort which is caused due to QL muscle pain a device is designed called QL Claw which releases the QL muscle. It is a unique device in a way that it releases the muscle on the pelvis and hips and reduces the pain of tight muscles. 

This device is easy to use. All you need is to lay down on the QL claw and move your legs up, down, and sideways. This will allow the muscles to contract and expand and relieves pain.

Conclusion

Quadratus Lumborum pain is the low back pain that is common nowadays and it is mostly ignored until it gets severe. It is due to the tightness of the muscles found on either side of the spine between the pelvis and last vertebrae. There are many ways to treat QL muscle pain. Of all the methods, using QL Claw is most preferred as it releases the pain instantly. 

So, people who don’t have enough time for massage or stretches can use this valuable product as the effect is observed shortly. 

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