Lower back pain is super common, effecting people of all ages, levels of activity and health. Myotherapy treatments can be a helpful option when addressing discomfort, pain and dysfunction of the low back or lumbopelvic region.
When you consider the role of the pelvis in supporting the vertebral column it becomes clear to see that stability and mobility in this area is of great importance. And compromised stability and/or mobility can have significant functional consequences.
The quadratus lumborum or QL muscle is big, quadrangular shaped and attaches to the vertebrae of the low back. It lies deep in the abdomen and has attachments to the pelvis and ribs. It acts create side-bending or lateral flexion of the vertebral column or when both sides work together, they create extension or backward bending of the spine. QL is considered a strong stabiliser of the low back and is often implicated in lumbopelvic imbalances. Due to its rib attachment QL can also be involved with respiratory dysfunction and pain on breathing.
An unhappy QL commonly contributes to lower back, hip and buttock pain as well as potentially referring pain over the sacroiliac joint (SIJ). Treatment of this muscle can provide significant, direct relief of these symptoms and your myotherapist may use a number of techniques to improve QL function. Techniques may include stretching, myofascial release, deep tissue massage and dry needling. In this video you can see assisted stretches targeting the QL muscle, followed by a general stretch of the lumbar region. These sorts of active assisted stretches help to increase range of motion and are useful to treat acute pain or deep muscles that are not easily treated with other direct soft tissue techniques.