Spotlight on …. Quadratus Lumborum

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Quadratus Lumborum
Quadratus Lumborum

The Quadratus Lumborum (QL) is a paired muscle, with one on each side of the vertebrae.

Although it is most often associated with lower back movement, this is the deepest muscle of the abdomen that is located on the posterior side of the body.

Where is it?

Origin:  Posterior iliac crest
Insertion: 12th rib and transverse processes of L1-L4 of the lumbar vertebrae

The lateral edge of the QL can be accessed at the side of the torso. stand with your hands on the sides of your torso so that your thumb is resting on the posterior of your lowest rib and bend to the side. Your thumb should be resting on the QL working to the side you are bending.

What does it do?

Unilaterally (working by themselves): Laterally flexes the vertebral spinal column to the same side and helps to extend it. Laterally tilts the pelvis.

Bilaterally (working together): Fixes the 12th rib during deep respiration (inhalation and exhalation) to help stabilize the diaphragm.

The QL is sometimes called the “hip hiker” because it acts to laterally tilt your hip (when you rest your body to one side so that one side of your hip drops and the other rises).

Problems associated with the QL

When the QL becomes tight and short it can trigger lower back pain, pain to the hip and gluteal (buttock) area.

4 July 2016