Your Quadratus Lumborum (QL) muscle is a very common cause of back pain, so being able to treat this yourself, effectively, can be a huge relief. Here is a great self QL muscle release to loosen off your low back and reduce your low back pain.
First of all, here is a bit of information about the QL:
This muscle runs down either side of your low back, from the top of your pelvis, all the way to your bottom rib. This is why it can affect your breathing when it is in spasm and it pulls down on the lower rib of yours. It also attaches along the way to the side of your spine.
- Side flexion/bending of the spine
- Fixation/stabilization of the low rib
When muscle knots form in the Ql or it goes into spasm due to overload or injury, then it can give you real grief! Often this is more one-sided than the other also, giving you a real lopsided feeling and can make it seem like you have one leg shorter than the other or that your “pelvis is out” (which can’t really happen). The QL refers pain elsewhere and isn’t always felt at the muscle. The referred pain is generally felt in the outer hip and in the glutes and is often described as a deep ache but can be a sharp pain when moving. The trouble is that this muscle is very hard to stretch – but, it is quite easy to do a QL muscle release!
QL muscle release: Release your low back
Lie on your back and place a firm massage ball (or a specific, purpose made tool like what the QL Claw) under your QL muscle, which you will find in-between the top of your pelvis and your bottom rib, off to each side of your spine.
Bring the knee on the same side as the ball up towards your chest, which puts pressure on the ball. Once you feel like you have the right spot (you will feel it!), holding onto your knee you can either:
1. Rock your knee out to the side and then in again and repeat, OR
2. Repeatedly bend your knee up and down towards your chest.
Slowly and gently work into it for 1-2 minutes on each side and feel free to move the ball up or down slightly to get the right spots.
Do this great myofascial release once a day for two weeks for longer-lasting results and check out new Complete Low Back Self-Rehab Guide that you can download that is packed with self-treatment advice and exercises for more.
Tip: Help prevent this recurring and giving you ongoing trouble by strengthening your QL and the surrounding muscle so that they can handle everything that is asked of them!
Note: If you have acute low back pain, pain going down your leg, or any neurological symptoms please see your local health professional first.
4 thoughts on “QL muscle release – Exercise for low back pain”
Yes please can we have the QL strengthening exercises? Thanks!
Here you go Elly: Strengthen your QL
So far, all core and lower back pain exercises I’ve seen, I’m a long way from even beginning to do–like get down on floor and get back up, put a ball under my back. Hah! You guys wait until you’re this age! And have a shattered shoulder, torn achilles tendon, torn ACL and various other ancient injuries that make the usual notions if how to move and strengthen muscles impossible to perform.
Thanks so much!