You have pain that is isolating on one side of your back and when you look at the pictures online you see a muscle called the quadratus lumborum. This muscle primarily connects the bottom of your ribcage to your pelvis and it can really get to aching at times if your back is giving you grief.
This muscle is located right in the area of your kidneys so let me address a red flag for you first because sometimes kidney pain can mimic low back pain. If your pain is due to muscle issues or skeletal misalignment there will USUALLY be variations in your pain. Some activities and positions may make it better or worse.
However, if your pain is coming from your kidneys, the pain will be constant and will not fluctuate with any sort of activity. To be clear with you, this is the case for any sort of pain. It is a red flag if the pain is constant and unchanging. Something serious could be going on and it is best you contact your physician right away and get the pain investigated.
Now that you have narrowed the pain down to being muscular or skeletal in origin lets figure out what is going on. If you see where this muscle attaches you can see that it attaches to the pelvis. This muscle can get very fired up if the sacroiliac joint is not aligned and tracking properly. The sacroiliac-what…? The Sacroiliac joint. If you are not familiar with what this joint is then you may need to read my book because it is all about resolving sacroiliac joint problems. Click here to get a free ebook version of Free My Back.
In a quick nutshell, there are 3 bones in the pelvis; two wing bones on either side and a triangle bone in the middle. The wing bones are where you put your hands when you put them on your hips; which is right where the quadratus lumborum muscle attaches. The bottom portion of the triangle bone makes up your tailbone. The joints between these bones can get misaligned and not track properly. I do address how to re-educate the joints so that they track properly in an easy step by step manner within chapter 4 so I will not take the time here to go over it again. If you are interested in learning this unique and easy technique then I encourage you to click here and get your free e-book version of Free My Back now.
There are a few other things you can do if your pain is isolated to this. First off, this is a muscle and muscle relaxers may help. Magnesium is a great muscle relaxer. I had written an article in the past about the benefits of using magnesium for muscle spasms. Click here to check out that article.
Next thing, there is a stretch you can do to isolate that area. I did a quick google search just to see what I would find in regards to a good stretch for the quadratus lumborum. I gotta say for most of those stretches you need to be flexible to even do them and if you are flexible then you probably don’t have bad back pain. What good is that going to do for you? I also see too many of the stretches recommending rotation. I would not recommend rotation because that stretches out the sacroiliac joint and could cause you more problems in the long run, even if it feels good in the moment.
I created an exercise specifically to stretch this area and I call it the seated sideband stretch. You can find it in my book Free My Back in chapter 5; however, I will briefly cover it here.
You can see in this picture that I am stretching the left side of my back (the quadratus lumborum to be specific). For maximum effectiveness; you need to make sure that BOTH your hips stay planted on the surface you are sitting on and if possible keep the weight distributed as even as possible between your hip bones.
In this picture you see that my right elbow is all the way down to the mat table. If you are unable to lean that far (which is quite likely), then use some books or a sturdy box beneath your elbow for support. It is important that you are feeling a stretch on the opposite side so just make certain you are leaning far enough over to feel the stretch.
Maybe you are a very flexible person, and you are not feeling much of a stretch with this recommended exercise. If you happen to be one of the lucky few with this problem, you can add intensity to this stretch by pulling the ribcage up towards your shoulder. This is done by reaching overhead. In the case of the picture above, I would reach my left arm up overhead until more stretch is felt in the low back area. Take this slowly because it can get intense quickly, and I do not want you hurting yourself.
Now, it takes approximately 15 seconds for a muscle to give into a stretch; therefore, I recommend 30 solid seconds of stretching before letting up and coming into an upright position. Each time the stretch is performed the muscle should be more responsive and feel less tight. I recommend doing 3 in a row for best results.
Now, doing this stretch only may not get you the results you need. It is uncommon for that muscle to get tight without a reason; therefore, I recommend utilizing additional strategies outlined in Free My Back.
You may also benefit from a one on one consult so I can help you determine what the best strategies wold be for you to start with. I would love to be able to help you and I am offering a free 30 minute consult to get you started in the right direction. Click here to get scheduled for a complimentary 30 minute consultation.
I look forward to being a part of your success story.