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Low back pain is one of the most common presentations to any physiotherapy clinic. With our work lives becoming more desk based, we are reducing the volume and variety of movement we are incorporating into our daily lives. We often hear clients complaining of a feeling of “tightness” and will point to a muscle called the Quadratus Lumborum. This tight feeling often follows periods of prolonged sitting.

Our QL originates from our Iliac crest and attaches into Lumbar vertebrae 1-4 and our lowest rib. Pain from this muscle can even be felt in the buttock and outer thigh area.

This muscle is involved in a couple of actions…

  1. Unilateral lumbar side bending
  2. Bilateral lumbar extension
  3. Stabilizes 12th rib in exhalation
  4. Hip hiking (Hip towards the ribcage)

Below you will find 2 styles of stretch for the Quadratus Lumborum that can be done daily to help relieve that feeling of tension!


Alison Molamphy