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Quadratus lumborum muscle

Quadratus lumborum muscle

The quadratus lumborum is dorsal to the iliopsoas posterior abdominal wall muscle that sits deep within the belly. It’s the deepest muscle in the posterior abdominal wall, and it’s often mistaken for one of the back muscles. It has an uneven form, although it is typically quadrangular, which is why it is called “quadratus” in Latin.

Functions Trunk extension Unilateral reduction, bilateral reduction, fixes Ribs 12 through stimulation,
Origin Lilac crest, iliolumbar muscle
Insertion Transverse processes of vertebrae L1-L4 at the inferior border of rib 12
Blood Supply Median sacral, Lumbar, iliolumbar and sub costal arteries 
Innervations  Sub costal nerve (T12), anterior rami of spinal nerves L1-L4

Due to its important spinal stabilization role, QL works hard during high-impact sports. Athletes in sports such as football, basketball, and hockey have extremely well-developed and powerful QL muscles. Athletes in various sports may have QL overuse as a result of the constant usage of QL during these activities. You wouldn’t be able to cut laterally in basketball, tackle an opponent in football, or even carry a bag with one arm if you didn’t have a QL muscle.

Causes of quadratus lumborum pain

Overuse, tension, and strain can all cause pain in the quadratus lumborum. When muscles are weak or overly tight, they can produce discomfort and stiffness. Sitting for lengthy periods of time, for example, can restrict blood flow to a region, particularly in the QL and adjacent areas. Repetitive movements and weak back muscles, which contribute to bad posture, can also cause pain. All of these variables might cause you to twist, bend, or lift incorrectly, resulting in increased stress. If your QL needs to overcompensate to support your spine and pelvis, it can cause it to become excessively tight. Accidents and uneven leg lengths can also cause pain in this region. 

It’s crucial to understand why the quadratus lumborum tightens up in the first place while you work on releasing it. Overuse, abuse, and compensating can all contribute to stiffness and pain, as I indicated before. A tight quadratus lumborum can be caused by reclining chairs, sofas, or any chair that places your body in a ‘C’ posture. The back postural muscles are weakened when you keep your body in that posture for a long time. The ql tends to compensate when these muscles become weak and underactive.

QL release spots and pain 

A trigger point is a part of your body that, when activated, can cause discomfort. Trigger points are painful and tightened muscles that have been stained or damaged. Deep aching in your lower back or stabbing pain in your hips or pelvis might be due to quadratus lumborum trigger points. They might also be the source of acute discomfort you experience when your QL contracts when coughing or sneezing. Here are some common symptoms of QL:

  • Deep, agonizing pain in the low back, this is exacerbated by sitting or standing.
  • Coughing and sneezing cause pain.
  • When laying on your back, the pain might roll to either side.
  • Pain in the groin might be mistaken for sciatica symptoms.
  • One side of your pelvis may be raised higher than the other.

How is quadratus lumborum pain diagnosed?

If you suspect you’re suffering from quadratus lumborum discomfort, see your doctor. They can assist you in locating the source of your discomfort. They can also see whether it’s linked to any underlying health problems. You may be required to complete specific physical exercises as well as describe your suffering. They can collaborate with you to develop a treatment plan that includes some form of bodywork. They will also advise you to practice self-care and therapy at home.

Is quadratus lumborum lead to complications?

If you don’t take care of your QL discomfort, it might cause tension in other parts of your body. Additional imbalances and misalignments might arise when your body adjusts to maintain one portion that isn’t balanced. The discomfort may worsen and extend to other parts of your body.

The quadratus lumborum can produce the following complications:

  • Joint discomfort in the hips, buttocks, and thighs
  • Sacroiliac joint discomfort
  • Abdomen ache low back pain

Quadratus lumborum massage 

The Ql muscle is connected to both the spine and the hips; therefore it can produce referred pain in the hip area. Hip discomfort is frequently transferred pain rather than the pain that originates in the gluts. Luckily, stretching can help out alleviate tightness.

 What you’ll need: I’m going to use this massage ball. It comes highly recommended by me. If you can’t find one, a tennis ball will suffice.


Begin by placing your hands on the lower back of your body. To the left and right sides of your spine. Hinge at the hips now. Bending at the spine is not a good idea (rounding your back). Ensure that the movement begins in the hips. You’ll feel the rear of your hip bone as soon as you do this. To feel them, sink your hands in a little further.


When you feel the outside side of your hips, stop for a moment. Continue above that region while keeping your hands there. by 1-2 centimeters All you want to do is get to the muscle. It’s important to remember that it’s linked to the iliac crest, which is the rear of the hip bone’s outer portion.


Now I want you to stand up and keep your hands where they are. Bend to one side while standing. Do you have a sense of muscle? Bend over to the opposite side as well. As you execute side flexion, you should feel the ql move. The massage ball should be placed directly on the spot where you felt the muscle. Not on the bone, and certainly not on the spine.


You may now go up against the wall. Roll up and down while avoiding the bone by pressing your weight against the ball. The purpose of locating the hip bone was to assist us in locating the muscle. 

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