I Am Quadratus Lumborum.
Just call me QL, for short.
When I hurt, it feels like I am a back muscle, but I am the deepest abdominal muscle and it is easier to reach me from the back of the body. I sit between your ribs and hips, just under those long ropy muscles, the Erector Spinae, that go all the way down your back.
I don’t get much time off because I always working. I help stabilize your spine when you are upright, I assist with turning and twisting and I am nicknamed “The Hip Hiker” because I can raise one side or the other of the pelvis. Belly dancing and Hula are just a couple of things I am good at. I have some other tricky things I do like extending the lumbar spine and helping your diaphragm contract when you cough. If you golf, I help you hit a long drive and in tennis I help your swing either direction.
I am connected to your last rib, down the lumbar spine and along the top of the pelvis and you have one of me on both sides. If you have ever moved heavy furniture or stacked heavy boxes, you probably felt pain in your mid-back, butt or even down your leg because when I hurt and go into spasm I cause all kinds of pain in different places, so it can be difficult to figure out who the culprit is. I am sneaky that way! I am also pretty friendly with other muscles and when I throw a pain party I like to invite my friends, Psoas, Piriformis and sometimes Iliopsoas but we aren’t that close.
Here is a picture of me and a couple of friends:
Here is a video showing how to take care of me.
QL Stretching video
If you do exercises that strengthen your abdominals/core, you are helping me be strong and healthy and I won’t cause you a lot of pain. It was nice to meet you and I will always be here doing my job as long as you take care of me.
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