Steve Briggs, director of the SB Sports Injury and Physiotherapy Clinic in Shifnal, has reported that an average of 10 patients a week experience back pain from their quadratus lumborum (QL).
Some have never heard of the important muscle that lies deep in the back of the abdominal wall on either side of the spine.
Mr. Briggs said, “Reaching from the last rib to the iliac crest, the QL stabilizes the pelvis and spine so that we can bend, stretch, and move sideways.
“Without the QL, it would be impossible to bend from side to side or stay upright.
“As the QL solidifies, it can pull on your lower ribs, vertebrae, or pelvis, causing not only back pain but a whole host of other problems, such as the inability to roll right or left in bed.
“Often times the problem is only one side because we all tend to prefer one side of our body when we are doing things.
“This can cause serious asymmetry, and sometimes even look like you have one leg shorter than the other by keeping one side of your pelvis higher.
“Sitting for long periods of time is probably one of the biggest causes I see because the QL is in a constantly contracted state, which then leads to decreased blood flow to the QL muscle and, as a result, serious muscle cramps.
“QL-related pain can manifest itself in the back, hips, groin, or buttocks, making it difficult to self-diagnose the cause of the problem.
“However, with the right diagnosis, treatment, and exercise program, it is usually possible to find relief.
“In addition, people can then often identify possible causes and reduce the risk of recurrence.”