What is Quadratus Lumborum Muscle and What is its Function?
The Quadratus Lumborum Muscle which is present in the posterior abdominal wall situated deep inside the abdomen. This muscle is present dorsally to the iliopsoas muscle.1 This muscle courses from the iliac crest and attaches itself to the 12th rib and the transverse processes of 1st to 4th lumbar vertebrae. The quadratus lumborum muscle is rectangular in shape. The muscle gets its blood supply from the subcostal nerve and branches of the lumbar plexus. The quadratus lumborum muscle lies quite close to many vital organs of the body in the abdomen like the kidneys and colon.
The main function of the quadratus lumborum is to provide stability to the body along with movement of the spine and pelvis.1 Since this muscle is used frequently day in and day out hence it is prone to strains and injuries resulting in quadratus lumborum pain. Certain activities like repetitive heavy lifting, sporting activities like rowing, golfing can strain the quadratus lumborum muscle. Treatment for quadratus lumborum strain is conservative with a period of rest along with using hot and cold therapy and back brace.
Signs and Symptoms of Quadratus Lumborum Strain
Some of the signs and symptoms of Quadratus Lumborum Strain are:
- Persistent low back pain with activity and even at rest 2
- Persistent hip and buttock pain
- Pain in the groin
- Pain in the pelvic area
- Pain in the front of the thigh
- Abdominal pain worse with coughing and sneezing.
What Can Cause Quadratus Lumborum Strain?
Some of the activities that can cause strain or injury of the Quadratus Lumborum Muscle are:
- Repetitive heavy lifting like in construction
- Sleeping on a soft mattress
- Sitting for too long 3
Risk Factors of Quadratus Lumborum Strain
Some of the medical conditions which can cause quadratus lumborum strain are:
- Trochanteric bursitis
- S1 nerve compression
- Degenerative disc disease
- Cauda equina syndrome
- Ankylosing Spondylitis
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Uterine Fibroids
- Kidney stones
- Urinary tract infection.
What is the Treatment for Quadratus Lumborum Strain?
Some of the treatments for quadratus lumborum strain or injury are:
Cold Therapy Treatment for Quadratus Lumborum Strain: There are many forms of gels and cold packs available in the market and over the counter which can go a long way in helping with treatment of quadratus lumborum muscle strain/pain/injury. The gels that are available can be used immediately when you start experiencing quadratus lumborum pain. These gels immediately cool the inflamed area and prevent swelling from developing in the area. The gel is used by rubbing it in the area of pain and tenderness.
Warm Therapy Treatment for Quadratus Lumborum Strain: This is also an effective mode of treating Quadratus Lumborum Strain/Pain/Injury. The gel provides adequate warmth to the injured area without actually burning the area. It works quite effectively in relieving pain caused due to quadratus lumborum strain or injury. This gel needs to be put at the injured area at least two to three times a day for optimum results. It should be noted here that warm therapy should never be used when using ice packs or heat packs as this may result in blistering of the skin.
NSAIDs: Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatories in the form of ibuprofen and Tylenol can be used for controlling pain and inflammation caused due to quadratus lumborum strain.
Back Support: Back Supports are quite useful in helping the quadratus lumborum strain. It supports the area of the back and the adjoining areas and allows the muscle to heal. You can consult a physician who will recommend the best brace for you as there are many forms that are available in the market which can help treat quadratus lumborum strain or pain.