The Quadratus Lumborum Muscle

Everything You Need To Know

Author : Mary Fecteau RMT

Date Posted : August 11, 2023

The Quadratus Lumborum Muscle: Everything You Need to Know
The human body is a fascinating machine, with numerous muscles working in harmony to keep us moving and functioning. One such muscle that often goes unnoticed but plays a vital role in our daily activities is the quadratus lumborum muscle.

Introduction to the Quadratus Lumborum Muscle
The quadratus lumborum muscle, also known as QL, is a paired muscle located in the lower back region. It extends from the posterior part of the iliac crest (the top ridge of the pelvis) to the transverse processes of the lumbar vertebrae and the lowest rib. With its rectangular shape and deep location, it resembles a quadrilateral, hence its Latin name “quadratus.”

Function and Importance
The QL muscle holds great significance in providing stability and movement to the lumbar spine and the entire torso. Its primary functions include:

Lateral Flexion: This muscle plays a crucial role in bending and tilting the torso to the side. For example, when we reach for an object placed on the side of our body, the QL muscle activates and contracts on the opposite side to facilitate the movement.

Posture Support: The QL muscle works continuously to maintain our upright posture. It prevents excessive side-bending and helps stabilize the spine while standing, sitting, or engaging in physical activities.

Back Extension: When we lean backward or arch our back, the QL muscle contracts to assist in the extension of the lumbar spine.

Respiration: The QL muscle has a role in the mechanics of breathing. It works synergistically with the diaphragm and other muscles to control the movement of the ribcage during inhalation and exhalation.

Common Issues and Remedies
Due to its involvement in a wide range of movements, the quadratus lumborum muscle is prone to strain and tightness. Some common issues associated with the QL muscle include:

Low Back Pain: When the QL muscle becomes tight or overworked, it can lead to dull or sharp pain in the lower back region. This is often caused by poor posture, excessive sitting, or repetitive lifting.

Muscle Imbalance: Imbalances in the QL muscle can lead to postural issues, such as uneven hips or a rotated pelvis. These imbalances can potentially cause additional stress and strain on surrounding muscles and joints.

Here are a few remedies to prevent or alleviate such issues:

Stretching: Regular stretching of the QL muscle can help maintain its flexibility and prevent tightness. Simple stretches like side bends and seated twists can provide relief and keep the muscle supple.

Strengthening: Strengthening exercises targeted towards the QL muscle, such as lateral leg lifts and side planks, can help improve its stability and support.

Correct Posture: Being conscious of your posture and maintaining proper alignment while sitting, standing, and lifting can significantly reduce the strain on the QL muscle.

Why Book Now?

The quadratus lumborum muscle may be small in size, but its contribution to our overall movement and stability cannot be overlooked. Understanding its functions, recognizing common issues, and implementing preventive measures can help keep our QL muscles healthy and pain-free.

So, the next time you feel a twinge in your lower back or notice a slight posture imbalance, remember the mighty quadratus lumborum muscle and the role it plays in keeping you upright and moving with ease.