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What is the Quadratus Lumborum muscle?


The quadratus lumborum (QL) is the deepest abdominal muscle. It’s located in your lower back on either side of the lumbar spine. It starts at your lowest rib and ends at the top of your pelvis. It’s common to have pain here because you use this muscle to sit, stand, and walk.

The QL is one of the prime sources of lower back pain and can have an effect on your physical well-being.

What causes quadratus lumborum pain?


Pain in the quadratus lumborum can be due to overuse, stress, and strain. Sometimes muscles cause pain and stiffness when they’re weak or too tight.

Activities such as sitting for long periods of time can reduce blood flow to an area, especially in the QL and surrounding areas. Pain can also result from repetitive motions and weak back muscles, which lead to poor posture.

All of these factors can make you twist, bend, or lift improperly, which creates more tension. It can also lead to your QL becoming too tight if it has to overcompensate to stabilize your spine and pelvis. Pain in this area can also be due to accidents and unequal leg lengths.

Trigger points and pain


A trigger point is an area of your body that may produce pain when it’s stimulated. Trigger points are made up of stressed or injured muscles that cause pain and tightness. Quadratus Lumborum trigger points may be to blame for a deep ache in your lower back or a stabbing pain in your hips or pelvis. They can also be the reason you might feel sharp pain when the QL contracts while you’re coughing or sneezing.

Can quadratus lumborum pain cause complications?


If you don’t treat QL pain, it can result in stress to other areas of your body. Once your body compensates to support one part that isn’t symmetrical, additional imbalances and misalignments can occur. The pain can become more severe and spread to other areas of your body.

Pain in the quadratus lumborum may potentially cause:

  • pain in your hip joints, buttocks, and thighs

  • pain in your sacroiliac joint

  • low back pain

  • abdominal pain



Pain and or tightness in you QL is usually treated by applying massage techniques to the affected area, but more crucially also treating the posterior thighs (Hamstrings), and glutes. These muscle are all inter linked, and I have worked on numerous clients who have suffered with lower back pain. Without treatment lower back pain impacts on day to day life, whether it being work, leisure time, or family life. Why put up with lower back pain any longer? 

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