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 Stretching and massage for quadratus lumborum 


Active Trigger Points in the QL are Often Associated with Back Pain

The QL works together with the psoas for creating an anterior pelvic tilt. It also helps to stabilize the lumbar spine together with the transverse abdominis, and to function with the other “core” muscles. 

When both sides of the QL contract together, this causes the lumbar spine to go into extension. When only one side contracts, it will either pull the rib cage downward to assist in lateral flexion (side bending) or it will raise one side of the pelvis upward.

Also noteworthy about the QL is that it is also used in respiration where it helps to stabilize the lowest rib.

Active trigger points in the QL are often associated with back pain, often as part of a wider "holding pattern" issue.




Here (below) are 3 simple stretches that most people should be able to perform easily and safely:

Quadratus Lumborum StretchTechnique

Kneel on your hands and knees and then take one hand and reach around towards your ankle. Keep your back parallel to the ground.

Primary muscles being stretched

Quadratus lumborum. External and internal obliques.

Secondary muscles being stretched

Iliocostalis lumborum. Intertransversarii. Rotatores. Multifidus

Injury where stretch may be useful

Lower back muscle strain. Lower back ligament sprain. Abdominal muscle strain (obliques).

Note: Keep your back straight, parallel to the ground, and your thighs in a vertical position. Distribute your weight evenly on both your hands and knees.



Standing stretch for quadratus lumborum



Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart and look forward. Keep your body upright and slowly bend to the left or right. Reach down your leg with your hand and do not bend forward.

Primary muscles

Quadratus lumborum. External and internal obliques.

Secondary muscles

Iliocostalis lumborum. Intertransversarii. Rotatores. Multifidus.

Injury where stretch may be useful

Lower back muscle strain. Lower back ligament sprain. Abdominal muscle strain (obliques).

Note: Do not lean forward or backward. It's important to concentrate on keeping your upper body straight.



Standing stretch for quadratus lumborum pain




Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, then slowly bend to the side and reach over the top of your head with your hand. Do not bend forward.

Primary muscles

Quadratus lumborum. External and internal obliques. Latissimus dorsi.

Secondary muscles

Teres minor. Iliocostalis lumborum. Intertransversarii. Rotatores. Multifidus.

Injury where stretch may be useful

Lower back muscle strain. Lower back ligament sprain. Abdominal muscle strain (obliques).

Note: Do not lean forward or backward; concentrate on keeping your upper body straight. 


Stretching Quadratus Lumborum

Often referred to as the back muscle, the Quadratus Lumborum is a large and powerful muscle in the posterior abdominal wall. It is one of the deepest muscles in the body and its function is to stabilize and extend the lumbar spine. It is also important to support the core of the body during breathing. If you experience pain in the lower back or hips, it is a good idea to consult a massage therapist, manual therapist, chiropractor or physical therapist. They may be able to help you relieve the pain by performing a range of treatments.

Depending on the cause of the pain, it may be possible to use a trigger point to help relieve the pain. These trigger points are located in the muscle itself and are very sensitive. They can be painful when they are pressed or stimulated. If you have a trigger point, massage the area to increase blood flow and decrease muscle tension. You can also apply heat or ice to reduce inflammation. A warm bath may be a soothing way to help reduce pain.

The muscle originates from the iliaolumbar ligament and inserts into the transverse processes of the upper four lumbar vertebrae. It is surrounded by a fibrous composite of aponeurotic and fascial tissue. It has a thick, irregular quadrilateral shape. The muscle can act as an inspiratory accessory muscle, contributing to lateral flexion of the lumbar spine. The muscle participates in 10% of the force produced during lateral trunk tilt.

Quadratus lumborum pain can be due to strain or overuse. It can also be caused by poor posture. It is important to exercise your lumbar spine to keep it healthy. If you have been experiencing chronic low back pain, it is also a good idea to see a massage therapist, manual therapist, chiropractor or physical therapist. A combination of therapies will usually be effective in alleviating symptoms for most people. However, if the pain continues, you may need to see a physician.

During a quadratus lumborum stretch, you can target the muscle on either the left or right side of the body. To do this, position yourself in a seated position and then bend forward and lean to the left. You can hold the stretch for 20 to 30 seconds. Alternatively, you can sit in a chair and bend to the left side, raising your right arm and leaning away from the chair. You can then repeat the stretch on the other side of the body.

Low Back Pain and Quadratus Lumborum

If you are experiencing muscle pain in the lower back, it is a good idea to get massage therapy. Massage can increase blood flow to the quadratus lumborum and relax the muscles, which will help to relieve the tension. You can also perform stretches to improve spinal stability. These stretches will help to prevent future injuries by allowing the muscles to be properly stretched. You can also perform yoga poses that will focus on strengthening your core and lengthening your muscles.

While sitting for long periods of time can lead to tension in the QL, you can also perform stretches to improve your posture. The quadratus lumborum is a strong muscle, but it can be overused or weak. If you are unable to perform a stretch, you can try self-massage or myofascial trigger point release.

Tips for Safe Stretching

Whether you are an athlete, dancer, or a weekend warrior, safe stretching is essential for your physical well being. Performing stretches correctly can help to improve your flexibility, and it can also ease muscle pain. However, doing stretches incorrectly can result in injury. Fortunately, there are some basic rules you should follow to maximize the benefits of stretching.

The first rule is to use the correct alignment. Follow professionally provided instructions carefully. Avoid bouncing while stretching. Bounces set off reflexes in the muscles, which can lead to injury.

The second rule is to breathe while you stretch. If you hold your breath for too long, you may not get the full benefit of the stretch. You should be able to hold the stretch for about 30 seconds without feeling any pain.

The third rule is to stretch for a moderate amount of time. Five to ten minutes is a good amount of time to spend stretching. You don't necessarilly have to complete your routine every day, but doing so may help you to prevent injuries. You should also be careful not to overstretch, and you should be able to stop the stretch if you feel any pain.

The fourth rule is to use a balanced stretching routine. If you do too many of the same stretches, you are likely to overwork certain areas of your body, and you are less likely to be flexible enough to participate in an activity. If you are going to do stretches, you should vary them by using different positions. This will keep your muscles from becoming overworked.

The fifth rule is to perform a stretch that's both safe and effective. The best stretches involve proper preparation and alignment. Using an appropriate stretch can increase your range of motion, which makes exercise easier. This can improve your flexibility, and it will also make it easier for you to heal. If you are suffering from a medical condition, you should consult a doctor or physical therapist before beginning any exercise program.

The simplest stretches are also the safest. For example, sitting on the floor with your legs outstretched can stretch your inner thigh. You can also stretch your right thigh by lying on your back and leaning through a doorway. If you do this correctly, you will be able to feel a stretch in your chest.

The most effective stretches are the ones that engage your muscles in a way that integrates the entire muscle. This will result in greater strength, and you will have better balance.

In addition to increasing your flexibility, you should also focus on improving your blood circulation. This will allow your muscles to get the nutrients they need to heal. A good stretching routine will also improve your balance, and this can prevent you from falling.

The most effective stretches are those that are not painful. If you are experiencing any serious pain while performing a stretch, you should stop immediately. You should also avoid doing stretches that require you to hold them for a longer period of time, as this will make you more likely to overstretch.


This trigger point therapy blog is intended to be used for information purposes only and is not intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or to substitute for a medical diagnosis and/or treatment rendered or prescribed by a physician or competent healthcare professional. This information is designed as educational material, but should not be taken as a recommendation for treatment of any particular person or patient. Always consult your physician if you think you need treatment or if you feel unwell. 





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Scraping, a manual, ancient practice where pain points are worked with a gua sha (smooth-edged tool), reportedly increases blood flow by up to 400 per cent more than foam rolling and massage guns. By breaking up old, damaged blood vessels to promote new growth and healing, these tools are useful for getting into the nooks and crannies of a pain point, especially in delicate areas like along the shin muscles and under the foot.

Tim Tian has taken the scraper idea and supercharged it, creating a manual, triangular tool that blends heat and vibration therapy. “Cold blades stiffen muscles, blocking a deep release,” he says.

The heated scraper device takes just three seconds to reach 50ºC. This helps muscles soften, making it easier to massage away tension, increase blood flow and promote healing. The scraper is specially great for alleviating delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) in the quads, and provides a relaxing switch-up from the foam roller slog.