Falcon Clinic

Lakelands Clinic



The Quadratus Lumborum (QL) muscle sits in your lower back. It is attached from your 12th rib, the L1-L5 transverse processes of the vertebrae and the iliac crest. If you’ve got an increased arch in your back and get aching to your lower back, your QL muscle might be causing issues.

When the QL on one side of your back contracts it causes a side flexion of your spine to that side. When both QLs work together it helps to extend your back (arching). The QL also helps to assist with diaphragmic breathing by controlling the 12th rib. Lastly, the QL hitches your hip in standing if contracted on just one side. Lots of jobs for a little quadrangle-shaped muscle! 

The QL is a common source of pain. It overworks if you’re sitting a lot, especially if you have weak spinal muscles and weak core muscles. It also gets overworked if you have weak glutes, compensating for hip abduction. 

This overuse results in tightness which will result in poor posture – often an increased back arch in standing. It will also become a source of sharp pain and muscle spasms. 

Watch our video this week to learn how to stretch your QL. If you think this is a problem for you, give us a buzz at Miami Physiotherapy on 95344111 or Lakelands Physiotherapy on 95429999 and one of our expert physios will assess your back and get you on the path to recovery. 

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