Low back pain can be a complicated condition. Quite often in my practice I will see multiple muscles involved in causing lower back pain in my clients. For example trigger points in the hip flexors like the psoas muscle, along with trigger points in the back muscles themselves, such as the quadratus lumborum or the multifidus, can all be active and refer pain into the low back. When trigger points are active in multiple muscles at once this is called a chronic myofascial pain syndrome.
The quadratus lumborum muscle or QL. Is a muscle in the lower back. It helps to flex the spine to the side and stabilize the lowback and hip. Trigger points in this muscle are one of the most common causes of low back pain and stiffness. This is probably the most frequent muscle I work on in my practice when treating clients with low back and hip pain.
The gluteus maximus muscle is a major player in hip extension. Despite its involvement in walking, running, skating, and pretty much all types of upright movement it remains largely undeveloped in most bodies. This Lak of strength sets it up for overload injuries like trigger points and myofascial pain. These trigger points not only cause glute and hip pain but are also a common source of sacral pain as well. The best prevention for these problems is strong glutes!!! So stop sitting on your butt, and start strengthening it with resistance training.
The Multifidus muscle is a long muscle that travels the length of the back. It helps move and stabilize the spine. It is a frequent carrier of trigger points. These points can cause back pain anywhere along the back and even into the sacrum. When they are bad enough spillover pain can be referred into the abdomen as well.
One of the most overlooked causes of back pain is trigger points in the abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles act to flex the trunk and to stabilize the upper body during most movements. As a result they can often become overloaded and strained. When this happens trigger points will form. These points will not only cause pain to be felt in the abdominal area but will also often refer pain into the back as well. Most massage for back pain is focused on the back muscles and the abs are often overlooked. If back pain in present the abdominals must be assessed to determine there involvement for a proper treatment to have the desired effect.