The Quadratus Lumborum (QL) muscle is a deep muscle located in the lower back that can get really tight if you spend an extended period of time seated. It usually exhibits a dull, achy pain after standing or sitting for prolonged periods of time. Today, we go over how to reduce QL pain and some exercises that can help improve back mobility.
How Do You Get Rid of QL Pain?
QL pain is due to muscle tightness, so the best way to get rid of it is to stretch, move your body, incorporate strength exercises into your daily life, and see your chiropractor if the pain increases.
In our office, we use deep-tissue massage along with several other tools to help alleviate QL pain. Be sure to get in touch with us at the bottom of this blog to learn more about our various techniques.
QL Pain Relief Exercises
Read about different exercises to help you reduce QL pain below.
Pelvic tilts are extremely important for understanding your posture. About 50% of our patients struggle with this exercise, which is why it is beneficial to learn how to do it properly. Many patients with QL muscle pain need help correcting their posture. Pelvic tilts help loosen up your joints as well as your hip and low back muscles.
To do a pelvic tilt, rock your hips forward and backward slowly standing and squatting. Do 2 sets of 20 reps in each position.
Hip Flexor Stretch
This stretch is a go to for all types of back pain. The hip flexor muscles can get very tight due to excessive sitting and will compress the spine pulling on your hips.
Hold this stretch as shown below for two minutes twice on each side. Use a chair or pole to stabilize yourself if you have trouble balancing.
Lacrosse Ball Massage
This is a self-massage technique for your QL muscle. Lie on your back and place your lacrosse ball about 2 or 3 inches to the left or right of your spine. On the same side as the ball, pull your knee to your chest and curl your chest toward your knee. Lean your whole body toward your ball. Hold this for 2-3 minutes per side.
As shown below, hold this stretch for 2 minutes on each side. To intensify the stretch in the lower back, grab onto your ankle and pull your chest to your knee. You should feel a stretch in the lower back. Bend your knee slightlyif you feel the stretch more in your hamstrings than in your lower back.
Is it Better on Your QL to Sit or Stand?
Finally, if you are sitting most of the day at work, we highly recommend utilizing a stand-up desk alternative to help relieve pressure on your lower back and improve your posture.
If you have any questions about the QL muscle or any of these exercises, send us an email or leave a comment below!