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Low Back Pain-QL/Quadratus Lumborum self care

Updated: Oct 14, 2020

Low back pain is not fun! QUADRATUS LUMBORUM aka QL, known for having four edges and being a rectangular shape can be a major source of discomfort as it connects our iliac crest (hip bone) to the lumbar spine and lowest rib. Lower back extension and a kyphosis(bowl shaped rounding in the lower spine) or lateral flexion (bending sideways) contributes to the QL’s being overworked. A few common causes to this can be sitting in an office chair or driving position without proper lower back support, locking the knees while standing and anteriorly rotating the pelvis. Also any positions that imbalance the hips where one is higher then the other such as crossing the legs while sitting will contract one side of the QLs.

To help ease the tension of the QL muscles while standing makings sure there is a slight knee bend and the abdominal muscles have a small contraction will help to posteriorly rotate the pelvis and straighten the over curvature of the lower back. While sitting having a proper upright back support and standing throughout the day will help. Self stretching by doing the child’s pose and holding for 30 seconds. Then by using your fingers to crawl your arms to one side hold for another 30 seconds and lastly to the other side for another 30 seconds.

Self Massage is also a wonderful release, it can be done with a tennis ball or foam roller. With a tennis ball against the wall or floor place the ball just above your hip bone and 1/2″ – 3″ from the spine. Be careful not to roll too high and hit the 12th rib as it can be quite uncomfortable.

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