Many people have experienced low back pain at some point in their lifetimes. While low back pain could be the result of numerous conditions or injuries on the lumbar spine, muscle strains such as a quadratus lumborum muscle strain, may be a leading cause for the recognizable symptoms of pain and discomfort.
The quadratus lumborum muscle is a large, triangular-shaped, muscle located deep on each side of the lower back. The function of this thick muscular tissue is to allow movement of the lumbar spine in order for the torso to move laterally from side to side as well as extend and stabilize the lower spine to improve posture. When this muscle is pulled or strained, the symptoms can restrict mobility on the lower back and due to the fact that the muscular tissue is so large, recovery from this type of injury usually requires more time and patience to fully heal.
Quadratus Lumborum Syndrome V.S. Facet Joint Syndrome
When symptoms of back pain become present during physical activity, the pain may differ per individual, ranging from mild to severe along with limited mobility and a burning sensation on the muscles. Other symptoms include swelling and inflammation, followed by muscle soreness and weakness. The previous can be associated with injury or strain to the quadratus lumborum but these may often be confused with another condition that causes low back pain and similar symptoms.
The facet joints can be found aligned on the back of the spinal column and their role is to link each vertebra together but, with degeneration or injury, the spine can gradually misalign and add stress to the joints. Considerable low back pain and discomfort are the most common symptoms of this condition followed by loss of flexibility and mobility on the lumbar spine. The pain often times can radiate down into the buttocks and legs due to the swelling and inflammation surrounding the affected facet joints.
If you’ve experienced any of the above symptoms, getting a diagnosis for your low back pain is your best option for determining which condition or injury has affected your lumbar spine’s health.
By Dr. Alex Jimenez