Do you suffer from deep, achy, or sharp lower back pain that has not been improved by chiropractic adjustments or exercise? Your lower back pain may be caused by poor posture that has led to tightness in your quadratus lumborum muscle. The quadratus lumborum (QL) is a muscle on either side of your lumbar spine that acts like a set of guide wires that hold up a flagpole. The muscle side bends, extends, and stabilizes your spine as well as elevating your hips and depressing your ribs.
The causes of quadratus lumborum pain are all too common in our culture. Excessive sitting and lack of exercise is by far the number one reason that the QL muscles get tight and filled with adhesions (knotted up). For people who don’t sit all day and are still experiencing QL pain, weak glute and abdominal muscles often cause the hips to fall into an anterior pelvic tilt, shortening the QL muscle and hip flexors. If poor posture continues, achiness and stiffness in the lower back will worsen to the point that people develop golf-ball-sized knots in the muscles themselves.
Is it possible to have different types of quadratus lumborum pain? Yes! For most people, the QL muscle becomes tight and causes a deep, aching, throbbing pain. This type of pain is often resolved quickly with exercises and a few visits of scar tissue breakdown. Some patients come to our office with severe quadratus lumborum pain that actually stems from massive golf ball-sized knots in the muscle itself. People suffering from this condition usually complain of sharp pain on either side of the spine. These knots require extensive scar tissue breakdown and exercise over weeks and months.