Important Muscles Involved in Lower Back Pain – Part 1 : Quadratus Lumborum
This Quadratus Lumborum muscle is perhaps one of the most relevant yet not always adequately treated muscle by healthcare practitioners who work directly hands-on with the body’s physical structures in relation to attempting to resolve lower back pain conditions. I will bring to your attention other relevant and important muscles involved in lower back pain and movement restriction issues in this series of forthcoming blog articles. These articles will feature informative videos that I have come across on YouTube giving an introductory overview of the relevant anatomy background followed by useful self help stretching exercises to facilitate release of tension in the muscle being reviewed.
In the above image, drawing C illustrates the anatomical positioning of the Quadratus Lumborum muscle, note that this muscle is actually semi deep and beneath another group of muscles called the Erector Spinae group which sit directly on top. Drawings A and B illustrate the pain referral pattern that can get set-up when there are trigger points in this muscle, as is usual with the phenomenon of trigger points the actual apparent location of the pain or soreness experienced as defined by the shaded areas in the above diagram is referred i.e. it’s possible that no pain maybe directly felt in the muscle itself even though micro tension knots in the muscles itself are causing pain to be referred and felt in the buttocks.
Here’s an interactive anatomy lesson and an example of some exercises you can do to help stretch and free up this muscle, although to do them requires additional equipment (a swiss ball) and would not be recommended to an absolute beginner:
The self help exercises which follow in each article must feel comfortable to do at all times, there is no useful benefit to be gained and the chance of injury to occur by pushing yourself into any discomfort or further pain. Also, remember to breath in deeply and breath out just as you’re about to go into the stretch, many people commonly (and unconsciously) hold their breath as they are about to perform stretches find that they can go a lot further as well as with less resulting pain after changing over to breathing properly as suggested.
So to finish off with, here are some simple exercises which do not require additional equipment and can be done by most, if not all when adapted to within your tolerance level.
The exercises should ideally be performed daily as part of a rehabilitation program and in conjunction with regular visits to a suitably qualified massage or physical therapist who can perform the supporting release or soft tissue manipulation work on the muscles involved.
See you in part 2! Take care now.