Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Quadratus Lumborum


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.

2 comments:

Sifter said...

I enjoyed this article. Any good stretches you would recommend for this? (I often feel strain in this area when at the bottom of a squat.)

Thanks....

Jason Ross said...

Stand perpendicular to a pole or door way. With your inside arm hold on to the doorway. With your outside arm straight over your head grab the pole or doorway. Lean away.

If your feeling this at the bottom of a squat, try rolling your glute med out before squatting to loosen it up. Then do a few x band walks to activate them. See if this keeps you from using your QL as much.