Quadratus lumborum trigger points are one of the most common causes of lower back pain. The cause a deep, diffuse pain in the lower back, which can radiate out towards the hip and down into the buttock.
These are deep posture muscles, and are involved in every movement you make while upright. Treating these triggers can give a lot of relief to back pain that’s brought on by sitting, walking and standing.
In addition, trigger points in the quadratus lumborum muscle can be turned on when you have back pain primarily caused by facet joint or disc problems. These can cause the muscle to go into a protective spasm, and this contributes to the overall pain level in your back.
Triggers can be difficult to reach with your hands, however, they are easily reached using a myofascial release tool. The best way to look for trigger points in the quadratus lumborum is with a tool like a Theracane, or by lying down on a tennis or lacrosse ball.
It’s important to be lying down when you look for trigger points in this muscle, as it’s a deep muscle. When you lie down, the muscles overlying it will be relaxed, and you’ll be more easily able to get down to and feel for trigger points in the quadratus.
Once you’ve accurately found the trigger points, it’s time to move on to treatment and release.
The principles of treating these triggers with a tool are the same as treating them with your fingers. You can use the same trigger point self-massage technique to create ischemic pressure and turn off the trigger.
The important thing is to go slowly, as these trigger points are deep, and can be very tender. You’ll know you’re on the trigger point when gentle pressure recreates the lower back pain you’ve been feeling.
Another point to remember when you’re treating these triggers is that you may need several treatments to get full relief. It’s often better to do treat 1-2 trigger points, rest, stretch, wait a day, and then return to treat the rest. You’ll be sometimes releasing days, weeks, or months of muscle tension, and this can take time, and is best done in stages.
Stretching this muscle is best done lying down. Lie on your side, bend your upper leg, and drop it over towards your front. Then, stretch your upper arm up over your head, dropping it backwards.
This will stretch the quadratus lumborum muscles in a safe and effective way. It’s a good idea to do this stretch, slowly, taking a few minutes to complete it. It’s also best practice to stretch every time after you treat your trigger points.
If you’re interested in finding out more on trigger points, and how to create strong, flexible, pain-free muscles, here’s where to download your free trigger point pain relief guide >>