Today a friend called me because she had played a lot of golf this weekend and then this morning she was simply having a wonderful stretch while yawning, and her back went out so badly that she immediately called her physician. She was afraid she did something really serious. After checking her out and doing some x-rays, the doctor told her it was just a pulled muscle. She’s flying out to Las Vegas tomorrow morning and she was really worried that her back would seize up on the plane and ruin the seminar she was going to attend.
When she got to my office, sure enough, a muscle called quadratus lumborum (QL), which originates on the top of the posterior pelvis and inserts into the 12th rib, had gone into a HUGE spasm. It felt like a golf ball was stuck between her rib and her pelvis — and it hurt a LOT when I pressed on it. It was also causing her to not be able to take a deep breath, but since she was feeling that in her rib-cage she didn’t ever think about this low back muscle being involved. Because the QL inserts into the 12th rib, when it is tight it is pulling down on the rib, which is (of course) attached to all the other ribs. This downward pressure prevents the ribs from expanding when she was trying to breath, and caused a sharp pain in her side, between her ribs.
First I used direct pressure to release the tension in the QL, then I released the spasms in her quadriceps (front/lateral side of her thigh) which were also involved, and then I had her pressing on the painful point in her ribcage. She was shocked at how little pressure she needed to apply to cause a major feeling of pain, but she was also surprised at how quickly the pain started to diminish. She was thrilled, she could breath again AND her low back felt fine.
She already has my book, Treat Yourself to Pain-Free Living so she’s now set to go on her business trip tomorrow morning.
There isn’t any reason to stay in pain when you have a spasm putting pressure on your joints, in most cases it’s really easy to self-treat. I’m glad that was the case for my friend
Wishing you well,