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Is your tight Quadratus Lumborum a pain in the back?

Does one hip sits higher than the other? Or do your lower ribs flare out (sometimes more on one side than the other). Is your lower back in lordotic extension? QL could part of the problem.


This muscle can be the cause of otherwise unexplained back pain radiating across the lower back, hip and pelvis. The QL is often not alone and there are a few other muscles around this area that also get tight and add to the cocktail of discomfort but for this post we will focus on the QL.


The main role of the QL muscle is to hip hike, and laterally flex the body to the one side. It also functions as a spinal extensor. This is all fine and well but when this muscle gets especially tight it can pull the spine and hip out of alignment. This coupled with a tight hip flexor muscle (psoas) is a recipe for disaster.


What can cause this imbalance?


Postural Habits and overuse coupled with weak stabilisation of core and back muscles can very commonly have an effect on QL – posturally always standing with a hand on one hip striking a pose OR habitually carrying babies on one hip OR sitting with one hip elevated (I used to sit with my one foot tucked under the hip) OR sitting with the weigh shifted more into one sit bone than the other can cause pain and imbalance.


Another factor to take into consideration with QL tightness could be tight hip flexors and an anterior pelvic tilt. Nothing in the body works in seclusion but identifying the culprits and releasing these tight muscle patterns and retraining the weaker, imbalanced muscles is the difference between pain and comfort.


So How To Fix It?


There are a few strategies you can apply.


Myofascial Release with an acupressure mat. I absolutely love my spikey mat. On days when I spend a lot of time sitting behind my computer this is a magical piece of kit to pull out at bed time. Lie on it (ideally with bare skin) and feel the tension disappear. You want the mat to reach from the top of the shoulders to the top of the hips and gluteals.



Myofascial Release with an acupressure ball. Just like the acupressure mat this piece of kit possesses magic abilities. Use it to massage tight spots on the body. The QL attaches to the top of the hipbones at the back of the body. So place the ball against a wall and roll the lower back next to the spine to the top of the anterior superior iliac spine (the top of the hip bone next to the spine) and also roller the top of the gluteals and any other spots on the body that feels tight. If you are not sure follow me on my Instagram channels. @annekepettenburger and @pilatesandyogadaily for videos on how to release tight muscles easily.



Arnica Balm – This incredible plant packs a punch. Arnica is rich in a phytonutrient called helenalin, it has exceptional healing abilities. It relieves swelling and speeds up the healing of bruises by stimulating white blood cells to break down the fluid and excess blood that is trapped in the joints, muscles and bruises. The increased numbers of white blood cells stop broken capillaries from bleeding into the surrounding tissue. Arnica also stimulates blood circulation to the affected area, bringing the resources and oxygen to heal broken blood vessels and produce healthy new cells.

In addition it contains lactones which are anti-inflammatory and can bring down swelling and inflammation and alleviate pain.




Kinesiology – Touch For Health Kinesiology works from the inside out. It retrains the neurology that is holding the pattern in place from the brain telling those tight muscles to contract religiously. Touch For Health kinesiology brings balance back into the muscle groups to alleviate pain and tension through the use of acupressure, neuromyopathic and other balancing points. A reset of the muscle to the brain.


Osteopathy, Physiotherapy and Pilates.

Osteopathy is based on the principle that the well-being of an individual depends on the skeleton, muscles, ligaments and connective tissues functioning smoothly together. Osteopaths use physical manipulation, stretching and massage.

Physiotherapy helps people affected by injury, illness or disability through movement and exercise, manual therapy, education and advice.

Pilates maintains and enhances Osteopathy and Physiothepy treatments by addressing balance, stabilisation and mobility through movement and exercise. This is your maintenance strategy to get out of pain and stay out of pain. Once you are aligned and tight muscles released Pilates maintains this healthy state identifying imbalances within the musculoskeletal system and retraining those for balance within the body. Addressing the system as a whole..


When you are in pain it is great to get an assessment from a Rehabilitative Clinical Pilates Professional to work on a program that is suited to your specific needs.


Eliminate Pain. Book Here for PIlates online sessions and1:1 in studio or online sessions (Basingstoke).

Massage Want some ‘me’ time that is beneficial to release this tight muscles?

Massage is magical. Find a good masseuse in the area and book in monthly visit.

Or Schedule in For a Dorn Treatment and Breuss Massage.



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