Two stretches for the back you’re probably not doing



The quadratus lumborum (QL) is the deepest abdominal muscle. It plays an essential role in stabilizing the pelvis when a person is upright and is one of the primary sources of low back pain. Stretching it is essential for easing that pain.


The anatomy of this muscle as well as how to release it is covered in a previous

blog post. This post will cover two different ways to effectively stretch these muscles to help eliminate tightness and relieve chronic ache.


Here are the stretches:


Stretch (standing)

  1. Stand with your heels, buttocks, shoulders, and head against a wall

  2. Your feet should be hip width apart

  3. Slowly tilt your body to the right until there is a stretch felt on your left side and hold for 10 seconds

  4. Grab the back of your right thigh with your right hand and try to tilt to the center and hold the contraction for 5 seconds

  5. Relax the contraction and tilt to the right to a new stretch point and hold 10 seconds

  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 two more times

  7. Slowly tilt to the center

  8. Repeat to the left side

Tips:

  • Keep both feet flat on the floor

  • Keep all points of contact against the wall

Retest the pain-free range of motion using the flexibility test to see if improvement has been made.


Stretch (seated)

  1. Sit tall on a firm chair with your feet flat on the ground and hip-width apart

  2. Pull your belly button to your spine

  3. Slowly lean to the right until you feel a stretch on the left side and hold 10 seconds

  4. Grab the bottom of the chair with your right hand

  5. Hold yourself in place with our arm as you try to lean to the left and hold 5 seconds

  6. Release the contraction and slowly lean to the right to a new stretch point

  7. Repeat steps 4 and 5 two more times

  8. Slowly tilt to the center

  9. Repeat to the left

Tips:

  • Keep both buttocks on the chair

  • Use the opposite hand for balance and support

Retest the pain-free range of motion using the flexibility test to see if improvement has been made.


Either of these stretches can safely be performed daily.


Enjoy!

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