Healthy Living

Healthy Living  >  Pain Relief

Quick and Long Lasting Pain Relief for the Quadratus Lumborum

  • Dr. Steve Young
  • 3 Apr, 2023

If you're experiencing lower back pain that radiates towards your hips or thighs, there's a good chance that your quadratus lumborum (QL) muscles are involved. The QL is a deep muscle located on either side of your spine, running from the lower ribs to the top of your pelvis. It is responsible for a range of movements in the trunk, including bending to the side and stabilizing the spine during movements like walking or standing.

Pain in the QL can result from overuse, poor posture, or injury. The pain is usually a dull ache in the lower back, and it can sometimes cause stiffness and make it hard to move. The good news is that there are a few simple techniques you can use to release muscle tension in the QL and relieve pain.

Here's how you can release muscle tightness in the QL using a tennis ball:

Step 1: Locate the QL muscle

The QL muscle is located in the lower back, on either side of your spine. To locate the muscle, lie on your side with a tennis ball placed between your lower back and the floor. The ball should be placed in the area where you feel pain or tension. Once you've found the right spot, you should feel a deep ache or pressure in the muscle.

Step 2: Apply pressure with the tennis ball

With the tennis ball in place, slowly roll your body over it, applying pressure to the QL muscle. Use your body weight to control the pressure, and adjust the angle of your body to target different parts of the muscle. If you find a particularly painful spot, stop and hold the pressure there for 30 seconds to a minute, or until you feel the muscle relax.

Step 3: Move the ball to target different areas

As you roll the ball over your lower back, move it to target different areas of the QL muscle. This will help relax the whole muscle and improve blood flow to the area. You can also try shifting your body position slightly to target different angles of the muscle.

Step 4: Stretch the muscle

After releasing tension in the QL muscle with the tennis ball, it's important to stretch the muscle to prevent it from becoming tight again. One simple stretch you can do is to sit cross-legged on the floor and reach your left arm over your head to the right side. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, then switch sides and repeat. You should feel a stretch in the QL muscle on the opposite side of your body.

In addition to using a tennis ball to release muscle tension, there are a few other things you can do to prevent QL pain from recurring:

Improve your posture: Poor posture can contribute to QL pain by putting extra strain on the muscles. Make sure you sit and stand up straight, with your shoulders back and your weight evenly distributed.

Strengthen your core: A strong core can help support your lower back and prevent QL pain. Incorporate exercises like planks, crunches, and back extensions into your workout routine.

Stretching on a regular basis helps to improve flexibility and prevent muscle tension. Stretch every day, paying special attention to places like your lower back and hips that tend to get tight.

Take breaks: If you spend a lot of time sitting, make sure you take regular breaks to stand up and stretch. This will help to prevent muscle tension and improve circulation.

QL pain can be a frustrating and debilitating condition, but there are a few simple techniques you can use to release muscle tension and relieve pain. Putting pressure on the QL muscle with a tennis ball is a good way to release tension and improve blood flow to the area. In addition, improving your posture, strengthening your core, stretching regularly, and taking breaks from sitting can also help prevent QL pain from recurring. With a little time and effort, you can get rid of QL pain and improve your spinal health as a whole.

It's important to note that while these techniques can be helpful, they may not be sufficient for everyone. If you have QL pain that is severe or lasts for a long time, you should talk to a doctor to find out what's causing it and the best way to treat it.

In some cases, QL pain may be caused by a condition like a herniated disc, scoliosis, or arthritis that is deeper than the surface. If this is the case, your doctor may suggest other ways to treat you, like physical therapy, medicine, or surgery.

The Quadratus Lumborum muscle plays an important role in supporting the spine and trunk, but it can also become painful and tight due to overuse, poor posture, or injury. You can get rid of QL pain and keep it from coming back by applying pressure to the muscle with a tennis ball, stretching regularly, and taking steps to improve your overall spinal health. If your QL pain is severe or lasts for a long time, you should talk to a doctor to find out what's causing it and what the best treatment is.

References:

  • "Quadratus Lumborum Muscle: Anatomy, Function, and Clinical Significance." AnatomyZone, https://www.anatomyzone.com/anatomy-feed/quadratus-lumborum-muscle-anatomy-function-and-clinical-significance/.
  • "Quadratus Lumborum Muscle: Low Back, Hip, Buttock, Groin, Pelvic, and Abdomen Pain." Trigger Point Referred Pain Guide, https://www.triggerpoints.net/muscle/quadratus-lumborum.
  • "Quadratus Lumborum Release with a Ball." Yoga Journal, https://www.yogajournal.com/practice/quadratus-lumborum-release-with-a-ball/.
  • "Core Strengthening Exercises for the Lower Back." Spine-health, https://www.spine-health.com/wellness/exercise/core-strengthening-exercises-lower-back.
  • "Preventing Lower Back Pain: Tips and Exercises to Strengthen Your Core." Harvard Health Publishing, https://www.health.harvard.edu/pain/preventing-lower-back-pain-tips-and-exercises-to-strengthen-your-core.
  • "Lower Back Stretches." Healthline, https://www.healthline.com/health/lower-back-stretches.
  • "Posture for a Healthy Back." Johns Hopkins Medicine, https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/posture-for-a-healthy-back.

Related Articles

Healthy Living

Hot or Cold? Which is Best for Your Pain

  • Dr. Steve Young
  • 3 Apr, 2023
Read More keyboard_arrow_right

Healthy Living

The Top 5 Ways to Beat Carpal Tunnel

  • Dr. Steve Young
  • 17 Apr, 2023
Read More keyboard_arrow_right

Healthy Living

Understanding Herniated Discs

  • Dr. Steve Young
  • 17 Apr, 2023
Read More keyboard_arrow_right

Healthy Living

Muscle Relaxers: Are They Right for You?

  • Dr. Steve Young
  • 17 Apr, 2023
Read More keyboard_arrow_right