Quadratus Lumborum And Latissimus Dorsi – An Intricate Relationship

rotator cuff May 12, 2023

Ellen, an experienced and skilled bodyworker for over 10 years sent me an email recently: “What’s the connection I feel between my hip and shoulder?”

I love that question and the answer is both for your clients and you! I’ll begin with a case history from a recent client:

Janet came to see me for painful flexion and external rotation in her right shoulder. She could flex to 180 degrees but it was painful.

One of the tests I did was for a high iliac crest. Her right hip was higher in both standing and seated. Before I did any work on her shoulder muscles, I corrected that misalignment with an MET technique. I retested her flexion and her pain decreased by 50%.

Let’s dig a wee bit deeper….

QL attaches to the anterior layer of the thoracolumbar fascia (TLF). The diaphragm, and psoas  major exhibit fascial connects to this layer also.  The giant latissimus dorsi connects to the thoracolumbar fascia and the iliac crest. The thoracolumbar fascia is important in stabilizing the thoracolumbar canister – adding support to the hip and shoulder complex.

If you are dealing with shoulder pain in either your clients or yourself check out what’s going on in the lats/ql/ TLF.

Does a high iliac crest/shortened QL result from an overly-facilitated latissimus dorsi that has taken over the job of subscap or does an  overly-facilitated latissimus dorsi result from an iliac crest/shortened QL? Chicken or the egg?!

This short post is just a sweet reminder that our bodies work in unison and sometimes it takes time and thinking outside the box to find the missing link.



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