2 Quick Tests to Determine if You Have TP's in Your Quadratus Lumborum:
Test #1: QL Side Bend Test
For this test, stand erect with hands at sides turned so fingers are flat against your thighs. Without bending forward or backward, bend to the side and slide your fingers down the side of your thighs as far as they will go. A passing result is when your fingers reach the knee. A not passing result is when your fingers do not reach the knee. In the picture shown, the patient does not pass on either side. The Trigger Point Therapist is measuring the distance to the floor on the right side to keep track of progress after treatment.
Test #2: QL Palpation
To palpate the QL, either stand or lie on your back and press your fingers with moderate pressure into the muscle tissue on your side right between the top of your hips and the bottom of your ribs (as shown to the left).
Another Physiology Fact: Healthy Muscles do NOT hurt when you press on them.
A passing result, as always is finding NO taut bands or painful areas when you are pressing into the muscle. If you find taut bands of muscle and tender spots, you have trigger points in your QL.
Simple Self-Care Remedies
Treating your QL muscle is not only easy but often very enjoyable. Your low back often feels instantly stronger and more flexible after just a few minutes of self-care. Follow the instructions below:
Step 1: Warming Up with Moist Heat
A warm shower, bath or Fomentek bag works very well for 10-15 minutes to loosen up the fibers of the QL.
Step 2: Compression
The best tools are a medium sized therapy compression ball against the wall and the Backnobber.
Ball on Wall
Place the ball between your waist and the wall, just above the pelvis and below the ribs. Lean into the ball with strong but tolerable pressure. To add a stretch, raise the same side arm up above the head and lean toward the opposite side. Roll the ball until you cover the entire muscle, stopping for 2-3 breaths at all tender spots and taut areas.
Backnobber on Stretch
Lie sideways over a pile of pillows, as depicted, to stretch the upside QL. Press the Backnobber into the stretched upside QL, pausing for 2-3 full breaths on each tender area and taut band. Alternate leaning forward and backward as you apply pressure to reach different layers of the muscle.
Step 3: Stretching the QL
Finally, there are two wonderful stretches for the QL that will help keep it flexible and healthy:
1.) Standing Lateral Flexion:
Stand and raise your arm over your head and lean to the opposite side, as shown. Hold for 20 seconds. Rest and repeat 2 more times 2-3 times daily. You can rest your other hand on a table or back of a chair for support. Perform on both sides. For added stretch, you can use your other hand to grab the outstretched arm at the wrist and pull into a further stretch.
2.) Repeat QL Stretch While Reclining
Repeat the QL stretch If you are too acute or tired to stretch standing, you may lie on your side over a stack of pillows. Raise the upside arm overhead and let the upside leg drop all the way to the surface you are lying on behind or in front of the downside leg. Hold for 30 seconds and relax. Repeat 2-3 times per day on each side.
Thank you as always for reading and educating yourself on how to keep your body strong, flexible and healthy with full range of motion! Please pass the information on to others!