What is the QL? Quadratus Lumborum Anatomy Lesson. How the QL can cause Neck Pain and Back Pain

What is the QL

Hey guys! What's up? It's Stephen Dunn with CORE Therapy and Pilates and today I'm going to come on and talk a little bit about a muscle called the Quadratus Lumborum

We call it the QL for short but the quadratus lumborum is a muscle that I feel like get's a little lack of respect. When it comes to treating back pain also when it comes to treating neck pain. That’s what I want to talk about today.

I've got a client that's got chronic neck pain. What we found is that by treating her psoas and her QL and her diaphragm, she actually gets really good results. When we treat her neck itself, we don't get as good of results.

So I want to go through today and show you a little bit of what the QL is.  Why I feel like it's important for treatment for the, really the whole body… With that said I've gone in and I’ve typed in quadratus lumborum here into the good old google and here's the picture we're going to look at first.

This picture is going to show the QL in green. Now we’re looking at the QL from the front. The abdominals are removed, the psoas is removed, all the intestines are removed. The only thing there is the skeleton and the QL. We're looking from the front with nothing in the way.

Also, the green is attaching from the lower rib, it's attaching to the lumbar vertebra... L1, L2, L3, L4, L5 and it's attaching down here at the pelvis. Now I talked a lot about the psoas and the psoas will sit right in this space where the white is.

I'll show you a picture of that right here. So now the anatomy is no longer green, it's now reddish and here we're looking at the psoas, here we're looking at the iliacus… following my mouse… Those are the two hip flexors and right next to it is that QL… all right...

Now something else I want to now talk about is its role with the diaphragm, okay. Let me just see if it's in here, I think it is, here it is, I knew that picture was somewhere. Now what I'm looking at here is we’re looking at a lot of anatomy.

Again the stomach and guts and organs have been removed but what we see is the psoas right here, we see the iliacus right here, again the two hip flexors. We see the quadratus lumborum right here you can see that in red, the QL. Now what I want you to notice is that this line I'm going across here is the diaphragm.

All right and I want you to notice that the psoas and the QL they both actually pierce and go up above the diaphragm. So that's a tendon right there for the diaphragm and this whole big thing here is the diaphragm.

It’s that dome but my point is is that the QL and the psoas and the diaphragm have a major, major role when it comes to spinal pain, whether it's low back pain or neck pain...

back-pain

Image via Pixabay

All right and I want you to notice that the psoas and the QL they both actually pierce and go up above the diaphragm.

So that's a tendon right there for the diaphragm and this whole big thing here is the diaphragm.

It’s that dome but my point is is that the QL and the psoas and the diaphragm have a major, major role when it comes to spinal pain, whether it's low back pain or neck pain..

If the diaphragm is not working properly it's going to affect the ribs and the shoulder and the head. Well if the psoas or QL is tight and not allowing the diaphragm to work properly because there's a compensatory thing going on at that muscle right where they're piercing each other…

Again the diaphragm is here and the psoas and QL are coming up right through it and attaching on top side… So that's my message today... the QL, the quadratus lumborum and how it can be super effective when it comes to treating the neck as well as the lower back.

My name is Stephen Dunn. I'm the co-owner of CORE Therapy and Pilates with my wife Cheryl Dunn in Austin, Texas. If you have a QL tightness, if you notice that you're leaning and shifting to one side, that QL is going to be imbalanced.

If you're finding that your neck pain and back pain are not resolving from the work that you're getting done by having someone work on your piriformis or work on your glutes or maybe they are working on your psoas, then it might be time to give us a call at 512-215-4227

We can take a look and evaluate to see the length of your QL, the length of your psoas, to see if your diaphragm is working properly. We can get you on a plan to learn how to manage and loosen up these structures, as well as strengthen them.

That's my message for today. I hope you guys are having a fantastic week, reach out with any questions you have and I'll talk to you soon. Take care

Stephen Dunn

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