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Archive for Quadratus Lumborum

The proper way to cough!

I was teaching a Stabilizing the Core and SI Joint seminar recently and learned a valuable cue from a pelvic floor specialist. In the MET correction for and upslipped innominate (when the ilium slips out of the SI joint), the client is asked to perform a hip-hike for eight seconds and cough and let go of the hip-hike. Why the cough? Good question! There are a few reasons: coughing activates the pelvic floor muscles, the transverse abdominis, the anterior multifidi, the diaphragm and the attachment of the quadratus lumborum to the 12th rib. The QL stabilizes the 12th rib during forced exhalations, such as coughing and sneezing. Ever had a client with low back spasms say “I bent over and sneezed!”?

The pelvic floor specialist noticed that the model’s belly pushed out when she coughed. Allowing the belly to push out weakens the pelvic floor and abdominal group. She suggested to cue clients that when they cough the belly should go in towards the spine to properly activate all the core muscles.

This is one thing I love about teaching for PESI REHAB – the interaction with professionals from other disciplines.

Hope this is useful!

The Quadratus Lumborum – A Wonder of a Muscle

The short, thick quadratus lumborum (QL) is a wonder of a muscle. While the iliopsoas initiates walking, the quadratus lumborum provides the powerful stability so we can walk. Some researchers believe that complete bilateral paralysis of the quadratus lumborum would make walking impossible, even with braces. This magnificent muscle is an essential component in the bedrock of our bipedal freedom.

The two QLs work as a team, along with the iliopsoas and lumbar paraspinals (multifidi, erector spinae) in stabilizing the lumbar spine. Like the iliopsoas, if this fundamental stabilizer is distressed it can be like a hurricane blowing through with devastating effects. Any movement can be painful, including urination and defecation. The pain may be excruciating in any position that increases weight bearing and requires stabilization of the lumbar spine. Rolling onto either side from a supine position is painful and difficult; coughing and sneezing can be agonizing. In fact, bending forward, twisting, and sneezing or coughing at the same time can throw the quadratus lumborum into spasm. If it’s not a full-blown hurricane, an irritated quadratus lumborum can blow an ill wind of persistent aching pain and gradual loss of lower back and pelvic flexibility, range of motion, and vitality.

New Book – The Core of the Matter: Releasing the Iliopsoas and Quadratus Lumborum

My new book, The Core of the Matter: Releasing the Iliopsoas and Quadratus Lumborum is almost here.
This book gives you the tools and strategies to restore power, ease, and fluidity to the low back and pelvis. When these muscles becomes unable to perform their stabilizing duties due to injuries, poor posture, extended stints of sitting, or stress, they can alter the biomechanics of the pelvis and lumbar, thoracic and even cervical vertebrae. Discover gentle, effective, and new deep tissue protocols for releasing these muscles using Peggy’s original and innovative Muscle Swimming approach.

“If you are a results oriented practitioner, this is the book for you. Ms. Lamb has once again masterfully condensed the broad field of somatic work into its most effective distillate.  She provides wonderful clarity and insight into an often little understood anatomy of this area of the body.” Tracy Firsching, LMT