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  • Writer's picturedrjodiebooth

Suffering from lower back pain?

Updated: Nov 28, 2020

I’ve had a few clients recently coming to see me with lower back pain originating from the Quadratus Lumborum (QL) muscle. This muscle has its origins at the lowest part of the rib cage (12th rib) and the lumbar vertebrae and inserts into the top of the pelvis.

The QL supports the core when breathing by stabilising the diaphragm and is involved in lateral flexion of the spine (bending the upper body sideways) and extension of the lumbar spine (leaning backwards whilst upright).

Symptoms of tightness or a strain in the QL include a deep ache in the lower back which often occurs at rest but can be made worse by movement such as standing up, bending down, walking or rolling over in bed. The pain can be sharp with sudden movements such as coughing and sneezing.

QL issues are commonly caused by sitting for long periods of time during which time the muscle is constantly contracted and becomes tight and fatigued, leading to stiffness and pain. Poor posture is another contributor, slouching or leaning to one side whilst sitting and lack of back support can all result in tightening of the QL muscle. If other muscles in the lumbar region are weak, the QL will overcompensate to support the body and eventually become tight and tense due to overwork. Of course, as with any other muscle in the body, an injury to the QL will also cause these symptoms – my client’s issues occurred during a heavy deadlift in the gym and when playing golf – but everyday activates such as lifting heavy objects incorrectly can lead to QL injury.

If you recognise any of these symptoms and would like some treatment advice – which may involve some simple stretches that can be performed at home or a combination of massage therapy and more advanced stretching and soft tissue release techniques – contact for more details or to arrange an appointment.

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