Health

The quadratus lumborum and low back pain

The name quadratus is derived from the Latin word “quadrus,” which means “square,” and lumborum is derived from the Latin word “lumbus,” which means “loin.” The deepest abdominal muscle is the quadratus lumborum (QL). It can be seen on either side of the lumbar spine in your lower back. It runs from your lowest rib to the apex of your pelvis. Because you utilize this muscle to sit, stand, and walk, it’s normal to have discomfort here. When a person stands upright, it serves a critical function in supporting the pelvis. It also aids in the stability of the body’s core during breathing. One of the most common causes of lower back discomfort is the quadratus lumborum muscle.

Overuse, tension, and strain can all cause pain in the quadratus lumborum. Poor posture is caused by pain from repeated movements and weak back muscles. Slouching and leaning to one side when standing or sitting without back support can put additional strain on the quadratus lumborum, resulting in discomfort. When muscles are overused, weak, or excessively tight, they can produce discomfort and stiffness. Sitting for lengthy periods of time, for example, can produce muscular fatigue, stiffness, and tension, especially in the QL and adjacent regions.

Quadratus lumborum muscle

The quadratus lumborum is a posterior abdominal wall muscle that lies deep within the belly and is dorsal to the iliopsoas. It is the deepest muscle of the posterior abdominal wall and is sometimes misidentified as one of the back muscles. It has an uneven form, although it is typically quadrangular, which is why it is called “quadratus” in Latin.

It connects to the twelfth rib in addition to the spine, making it critical for stabilizing both the vertebral column and the rib during various spinal motions. Place your fingers over the posterior iliac crest at the level of your hip to palpate the muscle.

QL Symptoms

Tightness and stiffness in the lower back are signs of quadratus lumborum pain. The kind and intensity of pain might differ. Lower back pain is typically described as deep throbbing pain, but depending on the reason, it can also be severe and acute. Although the soreness is most common when you’re at rest, it might get worse if you are walkabout. The discomfort may be worse by walking, standing, or rolling over in bed. When sneezing or coughing, a sharp discomfort may be felt. Quadratus lumborum discomfort can make it difficult to conduct simple tasks like walking and sitting. Quadratus lumborum discomfort can also be chronic, meaning it lasts for a long time. Long-term pain can have a negative impact on a person’s quality of life and well-being as well as their physical health.

Referred pain and trigger areas

When stimulated or pushed, a trigger point is a sensitive or painful spot in the muscle or connective tissue that hurts. Small knots are frequently used to describe trigger points. When a trigger point is pushed, referred to or radiating pain may occur. Radiating pain occurs when discomfort is felt in a different part of the body than the one that has been pushed or stimulated. Trigger points in the quadratus lumborum can produce discomfort in the lower back, pelvis, and hips.

Causes

There are some possible causes of quadratus lumborum pain, including:

Sitting too long

The quadratus lumborum muscle contracts or tightens continuously while you sit for a long time. Muscle exhaustion can result from constant contraction. When the blood supply to a muscle is reduced, it can stiffen and become painful.

Bad posture

When standing or sitting, poor posture can put additional strain on the quadratus lumborum, resulting in discomfort. The muscle might become painful and tight if you slouch, tilt to one side, or sit without back support.

Muscle weakness

When the muscles around the quadratus lumborum are weak, other muscles are forced to work harder than they need to. The quadratus lumborum needs to work harder to support the body when other muscles in the back and pelvic region are weak. The quadratus lumborum muscles can become overused and tight over time.

Leg length disparities

Uneven leg length can put additional pressure on the quadratus lumborum and other muscles in the body. If one leg is shorter than the other, the pelvis on the longer leg’s side may be higher. The quadratus lumborum may shorten as a result of the pelvic tilt, putting the muscle under tension.

Trauma

The quadratus lumborum, like any other muscle, can be damaged. Quadratus lumborum discomfort might result from a vehicle accident or a sports injury to the muscle. Injuries might also occur as a result of common everyday tasks performed incorrectly. Lifting large things in an uncomfortable or improper manner, for example, might put pressure on the quadratus lumborum.

Treatment

There are several therapies that can help with quadratus lumborum discomfort. Home therapy may be helpful in some situations. In certain situations, a mix of home care and medical therapy may be required to alleviate the pain.

The following therapies may be beneficial depending on the degree of the pain:

Yoga

Yoga consists of a sequence of postures and stretches that may aid in the relief of quadratus lumborum discomfort. Yoga may help persons with chronic back pain enhance their emotional well-being as well as their physical function.

Medications

Muscle relaxants and pain relievers may assist to alleviate quadratus lumborum discomfort.

Injections at trigger points

To reduce discomfort, a trigger point injection involves injecting medicine directly into the trigger point. Trigger point injections may help to relieve muscle spasms and discomfort in the quadratus lumborum.

Massage therapy

Massage therapy is a type of treatment that involves mass. Massage treatment can help to relieve discomfort in the quadratus lumborum. Massage can help to relieve muscular tension and improve blood flow in the region.

Ice or heat

Ice can help to reduce inflammation, while heat can help to improve blood flow and relieve discomfort.

Stretches

Stretches to prevent the quadratus lumborum muscles from being excessively tense, such as the ones below, are also beneficial:

Reaching out from above

Reach the left arm up and above the head and lean to the left as far as is comfortable while standing with your feet hip-width apart. Hold for 20 seconds, then switch arms and repeat.

Stretching the quadratus lumborum when lying down

Extend your arms fully to each side while lying face up. Cross the right leg across the left leg while bending both knees. Allow the legs to fall as far to the right as possible.

QL muscle release tool

All five muscles that cause lower back discomfort are treated by quadratus lumborum massage. The piriformis, quadratus lumborum, Lalas, gluteus medius, and psoas muscles are all released with Claw. QL Claw is wonderful exercise equipment that is designed to work around the QL muscle. Trigger points form in the lilacs and Psoas when you sit for lengthy periods of time. These muscles are relaxed by QL Claw.  Tension in the gluteus and piriformis muscles causes lower back and tailbone discomfort. The QL Claw merely digs and activates these muscles.

The Advantages of Using QL Claw

You may simply do a range of workouts that release and develop your QL muscle with this simple and easy-to-use gadget. The claw is made of hollow plastic and is inexpensive. Because it’s excellent, deep, and pleasant massage equipment, you may use it with confidence.

Apply pressure to the claw by bringing the knee on the same side as the claw up towards your chest to conduct a QL massage. Bend your knee up and down to your chest after you’ve discovered the proper spot, or rock your knee out to one side, then back in and repeat.

Work the ball into the correct areas gently and slowly for 1-2 minutes on each side throughout this period.

Prevention

Following a few easy actions can help avoid pain or minimize discomfort if it does occur.

A person can take the following steps to deal with whatever discomfort they are experiencing:

  • Using a lumbar support cushion when sitting
  • Lifting items bending at the knees rather than the waist
  • Keeping a healthy weight
  • Taking regular breaks when sitting to avoid stiffness
  • Avoid sleeping on one side only

If you don’t take care of your QL discomfort, it might cause tension in other parts of your body. Additional imbalances and misalignments might arise when your body adjusts to maintain one portion that isn’t balanced. The discomfort may worsen and extend to other parts of your body. Your hip joints, buttocks, and thighs, as well as your sacroiliac joint, low back, and tummy, can all be affected by quadratus lumborum pain. When one portion of the body hurts, other parts of the body may compensate to help support the damaged area.

If your back discomfort persists after two weeks of home therapy, consult a spine surgeon. If any of the following apply to you, get medical attention right away. When QL discomfort is addressed early on, it is typically manageable and improves with time. It may take a long time to completely repair this part of your body. However, as long as you take measures to improve, you should notice progress. Attempt to maintain a healthy lifestyle and remove the origins of your discomfort.

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