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Lower Back Pain (LBP) and especially chronic LBP is often associated with trigger points in the Quadratus Lumborum (QL) muscles.

Quadratus lumborum (QL) is a muscle located in the lateral area of the spine. It assists in flexion and extension, as well as rotation. QL is innervated by the 12th thoracic nerve. During forced exhalation, QL stabilizes the posterior crura of the diaphragm.

Aside from helping to maintain the spine in neutral alignment, the Quadratus Lumborum also provides strong leverage when bending the torso. Having a weak quadratus lumborum can make the hip abductor muscles work harder and cause excess strain on the QL when walking.

If the quadratus lumborum is hypertonic, it can cause low back pain. It may also lead to kyphosis, which can speed up the degeneration of the lumbar spine. In order to avoid this, you should learn how to stretch your quadratus lumborum. You can also practice yoga to strengthen your core and focus on lengthening your muscles.

The QL is small muscle that punches way above its weight.

The QL laterally flexes the vertebral column; fixes the 12th rib during deep respiration (e.g. helps stabilize diaphragm for singers exercising voice control); and helps extend the lumbar part of the vertebral column, and provide it with lateral stability.

QL and Trigger Points

Being such an active muscle, trigger points form in the QL for a whole host of reasons including repetitive strain injuries brought on by common daily activities such as gardening, or housework.

Sleeping on soft or worn-out mattresses can be another common cause.

Trigger points in the QL are also typically associated with disc problems in the lower back, or facet or spinal joint issues (such as degeneration, sacroiliac joint issues, and spondylolisthesis or spondylolysis in the lumbar spine).



Referred Pain Patterns

Trigger points in the QL are known to create several “zones” of referred pain to the lower abdomen, sacroiliac joint (upper pole), lower buttock, lower back, upper hip, and greater trochanter.

Massage and Trigger Point Therapy

Trigger point therapy can work wonders for treating trigger points in the QL and may provide both short and long term relief from a number of painful conditions. 

Dry Needling

Dry needling is a modern physical therapy treatment technique that uses a fine needle to release and re-pattern muscle dysfunction. The process causes a brief, local twitch response that relieves pain and improves range of motion.

The insertion of the needle elicits injury signals to the brain, initiating a healing process to restore and maintain normal function. This is a non-invasive procedure that may be used to treat myofascial trigger points, muscle tension, scar tissue, and other conditions resulting in chronic pain.



Benefits of Dry Needling

Patients who experience pain, joint stiffness, and other issues often see improvement after only one session. However, the severity of symptoms and how long they’ve been present impact the length of time a patient may need to receive a series of treatments.

Trigger Point Dry Needling is an often effective treatment for chronic pain syndromes such as back and neck pain, shoulder pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel syndrome, headaches, and more. In addition, it can be an effective adjunct to other treatments such as acupuncture, spinal manipulation, and soft tissue techniques.

The use of 'dry needling' in the treatment of neuromusculoskeletal pain syndromes is supported by numerous, large-scale, randomized controlled trials published in Western or biomedical 'acupuncture' literature. Those studies have not used medicine or injectate in conjunction with their needling procedures.




This 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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