Ql Muscle Strengthening: Beat Low Back Pain
Your Quadratus Lumborum muscle can cause you all sorts of back pain and refer pain into your hip and glutes. Having weakness in your QL muscle can mean recurring and frustrating back pain that can cause way too much trouble
So following on from our previous article on how to treat the QL yourself through an easy muscle release, here is how to strengthen it up and beat low back pain.
So, what does your QL muscle do?
Easy, it comes from the top of your pelvis and attaches on to the bottom rib and the side of your spine. From there, it acts to help you extend backwards, bend to the side, bend forwards and can help in breathing.
So the QL does rather a lot. Not only that but because it attaches to all your lumbar vertebrae and your pelvis, when it goes into spasm, it can really pull on your spine and can also lift one side of the pelvis Making it seem like your back is out
And you know what? The QL can be a real pain in the butt.
Literally. As with a lot of muscles in the body which cause you to feel pain elsewhere and not where the real issue is. The QL refers pain into the buttock and side of the hip, making it quite deceiving as to where the pain is actually coming from.
Symptoms of QL muscle dysfunction:
Strengthening exercises for the QL:
Control Medication Use For Back Pain
While medications are often important for low back pain relief, one should also be careful about the use of medications. For example, use of narcotic medications and muscle relaxants over time may cause depression and should be used as little as possible. Also, while anti-inflammatory medications may provide low back pain relief, there is no evidence that they do anything to speed the process of healing. The use of heat therapy or cold therapy, or liniment or massage therapy, as mechanisms for pain control are very safe and positive alternatives for low back pain management.
How Serious Is Your Lower Back Pain
For most, their lower back pain symptoms come in the form agonising ache and muscle spasms. It may feel like muscle strain, muscle tension, or stiffness of the lumbar region. But most find it hard to relieve pain. The problem is these symptoms put your life on pause. They stop you from doing things that others, without chronic pain, wouldnt think twice about.
Of course, we are all taught that anything to treat any issue around the spinal column or spinal cord with real respect and for good reasons, but for most patients we see at the ProSport clinic, it isnt a case of serious damage to the spinal nerves or spinal cord.
So when asked if I think a patients low back pain is serious I say yes. You should take all lower back pain seriously. No matter how mild you think it is, if your chronic low back pain is stopping you from doing something then you should take it seriously and take action
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Find Activities That Make You Happy
Ongoing back pain can wreak havoc on your life, affecting your cherished relationships, finances, and your ability to get stuff done at work and at home. Finding activities that make you happy can help reduce some stress and may relieve some pain.
Some people find that even doing just 3 things that make them feel good each daysuch as enjoying a comforting cup of tea or coffee, calling an old friend, walking the dog, or receiving a longish 30-second hug from a loved onecan make pain more tolerable.
Diagnosis Of Back Pain
Regardless of what type of doctor you see, there are some things you can expect your doctor to do during your visit. Your doctor first will ask you a number of questions, the most common of which are listed as follows:
- What are your symptoms–that is, what aches or pains do you have?
- Exactly where is the pain?
- Where is the pain the most severe?
- When did the pain begin?
- How long have you had it?
- Did something specific cause your back pain, such as an accident or injury?
- What home treatments have you used?
- Were you under any additional stress when the pain began?
- Do you have any other health problems?
- What kind of work do you do?
- In what types of recreational activities do you participate?
Think about these ahead of time so you can answer them easily. You also may have questions you’d like to ask the doctor. As you think of questions at home, jot them down and take them to the appointment.
Next, your doctor will give you a physical exam. During the exam, the doctor may perform any of the following: observe your muscles and joints ask you to sit and lie down ask you to move your back in different positions observe and feel the area of most pain and/or check to see if other areas of your body are tender or painful If the doctor can identify the likely cause of your back pain at this point, no further tests will be needed.
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Preventing Pain And Injury
Posture. Using correct posture and keeping your spine in alignment are the most important things you can do for your neck and back . The lower back bears most of your weight, so proper alignment of this section can prevent injury to your vertebrae, discs, and other portions of the spine. If you have back or neck pain, you may need to make adjustments to your daily standing, sitting, and sleeping habits and learn proper ways to lift and bend. Your workspace may need to be rearranged to keep your spine from slouching. Because extra pounds can make back pain worse, you should maintain a weight that is appropriate for your height and body frame.
Exercise. Regular exercise is important to prevent back pain and injury. A program of strengthening, stretching and aerobic exercises will improve your overall fitness level. Research has shown that people who are physically fit are more resistant to back injuries and pain, and recover quicker when they do have injuries, than those who are less physically fit .
Tips For Dealing With Lower Back Pain
By Robert Greenleaf, MD, Spine Surgeon
Lower back pain is extremely common and one of the top reasons for missed workdays. Thats because the lower back supports the weight of the upper body and is subject to a lot of stress and strainespecially during everyday movements like lifting and twisting.
One of two things typically causes lower back pain: a sudden injury or the wear and tear of aging, arthritis and physical activity. No matter the cause of your lower back pain, here are 10 recommendations that can help you relieve it and prevent future problems.
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If You Are Tired Of Your Pain And Want To Get Pain Free Again You’ve Come To The Right Place
At BeatingBackPain.com we believe that awareness, knowledge AND ACTION are the keys to correcting your own back troubles.
Once YOU understand WHY your back hurts and what you have done – and probably still are doing – that caused your troubles to develop, getting out of trouble is the easy part.
Yes, you read that correct, once people understand, for most people it turns out to be easy to get PAIN FREE again.
Healing Your Back starts with figuring out what caused YOUR particular back problems, doesn’t matter if it is chronic or acute low back pain, a pain inflamed bulging disc or sciatic pains flying through your legs…
How To Beat Back Pain
Persistent back pain is a common problem that can be hard to shift, so we sought out expert opinion on the best ways to beat it. Find out what they had to say here.
Back pain is a huge problem that affects people of all ages.
And in this modern age where people are spending long hours sitting behind desks for work and living an increasingly sedentary lifestyle, it is a problem that just keeps getting worse.
But while a lack of activity, too much sitting, and poor posture are all major causes of back pain, the problem is still most common for workers who have physically active jobs.
This is because long days of repetitive movements, heavy lifting, bending, twisting, stretching, and grafting can really take it’s toll on your back.
So we wanted to get some expert opinions on how people, and especially those with active jobs, could beat the persistent back pain that plagues them.
However, while back pain is felt in the body, it’s not a purely physical problem.
It is multi-faceted and can be caused by many different things including how you think, how you feel, your lifestyle, your diet, or even your ability to sleep.
So I partnered with Minuca Elena and asked her to conduct an influencer round up post, in which she reached out to 53 experts across various niches to get their opinions on the best ways to beat back pain.
And the specific question we asked them was this:
“What is your top tip for someone with an active job to be able to fight back against persistent back pain?”
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Stretch & Strengthen Your Body
So now you know that you need to stay active to beat back pain, but which kinds of activities and exercises should you be doing?
This can be a confusing question for some people, as they may be frightened of doing their backs more damage by exercising.
However if you choose the right kinds of exercise they can be a real godsend for your back.
For instance, activities that increase you overall aerobic fitness such as walking, swimming and cycling have been found to be great for reducing back pain when performed regularly and to a moderate intensity.
And our experts also stressed the importance of stretching and strengthening exercises as a vital part of being able to get rid of persistent back pain.
As these are great for lengthening and strengthening your muscles, which provides your lower back with a greater level of support.
And they also help to keep your body balanced and aligned, which is great for your posture and takes the strain off your lower back.
In fact this was the most common theme among all our expert responses!
Poor Posture While Cycling
Another cause of cycling back pain is poor posture. If the bike features are inappropriate then it is likely that you will experience lower back pain. For instance, if the frame set is too large for you that you can hardly reach the handlebars or the saddle is too high that you cant sit comfortably while riding.
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Remember: Alignment Is Key
No matter what position you choose, keeping proper alignment of your spine is the most important part of the equation. Focus specifically on aligning your ears, shoulders, and hips.
You may notice gaps between your body and the bed that strain your muscles and spine. You can reduce this stress by using pillows to fill the gaps.
Be careful while turning in bed. You can get out of alignment during twisting and turning motions as well. Always move your entire body together, keeping your core tight and pulled in. You may even find it helpful to bring your knees toward your chest as you roll over.
Burnout And Low Back Pain
Lower back and neck pain are the leading causes of disability in the workforce. How does burnout affect this? Well, in March 2021, researchers from Hungary conducted a study on more than 1000 workers that included doctors, teachers, social workers, and paramedics. The researchers found that burnout was associated with neuropathic low back pain and that low back pain and burnout have many of the same risk factors and consequences. The study went on to report that workers suffering from burnout had a 2.5-fold risk of suffering from back pain. This connection can become a vicious cycle with a sort of chicken-and-egg approach.
When burnout happens it is because the stress and work overload cause our autonomic nervous systems to be activated which can then result in increasing things like our heart rate and blood pressure. This then increases inflammation in the body, triggering depression, sleep issues, unhealthy habits, increased alcohol consumption, and less physical activity because we are so tired. These unhealthy habits then increase our feelings of burnout and increase our stress levels. All of this adds up to increased pain within our bodies and a higher chance of experiencing low back pain.
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Overlooked Remedies For Lower Back Pain Relief
When lower back pain persists and continues to interfere with your quality of life, multiple treatment options may be needed for adequate relief. Below are some back pain treatments that are commonly overlooked or underused. Try one or more of these remedies to see which one, or combination, works best for you.
Maintain Correct Posture During Activities
To protect your lower back from injury, its important to maintain proper posture when performing physical activitiesespecially if you play sports or have a job that requires repetitive motions. Avoid slouching as much as possible and aim to keep your spine erect. When lifting, bend and straighten from the knees, not the waist. And be sure to move your hips when twisting from side to side.
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The Low Back Pain Beating Workout
A daily, 30-minute walk is an excellent way to get started is not just an easy way to stay active and burn calories, its also a great tool for maintaining flexibility in the lower back. Even better is a comprehensive workout designed to support the lower back.
As part of a recent experiment, researchers divided 71 LBP sufferers into two workout groups. Participants either walked each day or engaged in a graded workout, emphasising lower back stability exercises. After 12 months, researchers assessed the participants levels of pain and disability, physical health , fear-avoidance of exercise and self-reliance.
The study showed that at 12 months, group comparison showed a reduction in perceived disability in favor of the targeted exercise group,. Ratings of physical health and self-efficacy beliefs also improved in the exercise group over the long term, though no changes were observed for fear-avoidance beliefs.
What the study tells us, is that targeted exercises can have a significant impact however exercise alone will not totally resolve the situation. Many patients do still have aspects of life they try to avoid in the hopes of preventing pain. This is where chiropractic treatment can really shine, since our approach is to eliminate the underlying cause of the condition thereby effective preventing future injury.
Studies Confirm How To Safely Reduce Back Pain
A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that people who exercise have less severe back pain, and a lower risk of developing back pain, compared to people who don’t exercise.2
The researchers analyzed data from multiple studies that included more than four thousand participants. Here’s what they learned:
Exercises designed to strengthen the spinal muscles in combination with stretching or aerobic exercise can reduce the subsequent occurrence of LBP by approximately 30%, with decreases in the intensity of pain and associated disability as well.2
Exercise not only prevented the occurrence of lower back pain in many cases, but it also reduced the severity of pain and helped people to maintain their physical function.
The above study looked at a wide range of participants. Another study that focused on people aged 60 or older found similar results. The researchers concluded that strengthening exercises in particular help alleviate pain and improve body functions.3
Studies have found that strengthening exercises that focus on spinal muscles combined with stretching or aerobic exercise prevent lower back pain, reduce the severity of back pain, and help people to maintain their physical function.
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Resting Might Not Help
Directly strengthening the abdominal muscles, and the muscles of the lower back allow them to take more of the load of everyday life, thereby reducing the load placed on the spine itself. Research shows that core exercises lessen stress on the spine more than merely resting does. This means that the traditional approach of resting the back is likely to be ineffective in reducing lower back pain in many cases.
ln one experiment, participants first performed press ups to simulate loading the spine. Next, the individuals either rested or performed abdominal exercises, while the researchers measured spinal loading. The result? The abdominal exercises produced greater recovery.
The Journey To Relief Begins With Better Back Beliefs
These are the most important back pain belief upgrades:
- Treatments such as strong medications, injections, and surgery are not effective or necessary in the overwhelming majority of cases.
- Low back pain is rarely a serious medical condition, rarely persists, and rarely deteriorates later in life. Even when it does persist, it usually isnt related to tissue damage, and scans are almost never helpful in diagnosing the cause of back pain.
- Pain with exercise and movement is mostly not a useful warning that harm is being done to the spine. Even intense exercise doesnt cause wear and tear damage, and flare-ups dont mean youve damaged something and have to rest.
- Low back pain is not caused by weak core muscles or prevented by strong ones.
Each of these contradicts a major myth or two about back pain, and is strongly supported by the science.15 By the end of this tutorial, I hope youre convinced of each one. But initially? Most people will have trouble swallowing them. Even professionals will especially the ones whose income depends on denying these.
Embracing them, instead of the myth of fragility and all its implications, is half the battle. But its really tough when youre facing intense, chronic back pain. Sure, most acute low back pain fades steadily up to 90% of it, for uncomplicated cases.16 And so does a lot of so-called chronic low back pain!17
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