Wednesday, September 16, 2009
The quadratus lumborum or (ql) for short is a muscle that runs from the last rib to the iliac crest. Some of the ql's fibers merge with the diaphragm, so if the ql is short, respiratory dysfunction must be considered. There are two distinct bands of ql fibers, medial and lateral. Trigger points in the medial portion of the ql can produce pain in the SI joint and into the buttock. Trigger points in the lateral portion of the ql can produce pain in the lower ribs and around the iliac crest.
A quick test to evaluate the overall dysfunction of the ql is to have the patient/athlete lay sideways. With one hand feel the glute med and the other the ql. Have the athlete perform hip ABduction. The correct pattern is glute med and at around 25 degrees the ql should kick in. If the ql is significantly short, the ql will kick in right away.
So now you have one more muscle to evaluate when back or glute pain is involved.