Lower back pain when walking is a condition that millions of people suffer from every day. While the pain may feel severe, it could be traced back to only a few muscle culprits. If your lower back hurts when walking, the quadratus lumborum and the piriformis are two muscles that when tight can cause built-up tension and stiffness, leaving you in pain. If this nagging problem is getting in the way of enjoying your everyday life, keep reading to learn how to master these forgotten muscles and get you walking pain-free.
Lower Back Hurts When Walking - Quadratus Lumborum and Piriformis
The quadratus lumborum (QL) is a muscle that runs along the lower back and connects the pelvis to the spine . This muscle helps to stabilize the lower back and maintain proper posture. When this muscle is tight or strained, it can cause lower back pain, particularly when walking.
The piriformis is a small muscle located in the buttocks that connects the lower spine to the thigh bone . When this muscle is tight or inflamed, it can put pressure on the sciatic nerve, causing pain in the lower back and legs.
Lower Back Hurts When Walking - Fix It Today
If you are experiencing lower back hurts when walking, it is essential to identify the underlying cause so that you can address it effectively. In many cases, the issue is related to muscle tightness or strain, as is the case with the quadratus lumborum and piriformis muscles. In order to relieve tightness and pain, you must focus on the affected tissue. The most effective way to do this is through deep tissue muscle massage and stretching the muscle.
Lower Back Hurts When Walking - QL Massage Techniques:
When a pain-inducing muscle like the quadratus lumborum becomes tight, it can form QL trigger points.
The best way to release QL trigger points is with deep-tissue massage. This can be done by a physical or massage therapist's hands or at home with a purposefully made QL release tool. The QL release tool I used and recommend is our own QL Claw. Designed to get into those hard-to-reach areas that are causing you pain, the QL Claw is the perfect recovery tool for relieving tightness and helping you maintain a healthy lower back!
Lower Back Hurts When Walking - Piriformis:
Piriformis deep tissue massage and stretching can be an effective way to alleviate lower back hurts when walking, particularly when the underlying cause is piriformis syndrome. The piriformis syndrome test will help you determine if the piriformis muscle is the source of your underlying pain. Piriformis syndrome occurs when the piriformis muscle becomes tight or inflamed and puts pressure on the sciatic nerve, causing pain in the lower back and legs.
Deep tissue massage can help to release tension in the muscle, reducing pressure on the sciatic nerve and alleviating pain. Additional Piriformis stretching can help to improve flexibility and future discomfort and pain. Piriformis syndrome treatment at home using deep tissue massage and stretching techniques will relieve tension.
Lower Back Hurts When Walking - Takeaways:
Back pain is a nagging problem that can hinder your everyday life. If your lower back hurts when walking, tending to the quadratus lumborum and piriformis muscles through deep tissue massage and isolated stretching are simple ways to help alleviate pain firsthand. Understanding the muscle culprits and origins behind your pain can help you fix the problem and get you back to 100%.
For more information on relieving lower back pain, check out our Lower Back Flexibility Program - Flexible Back 2.0 and Lower Back Strengthening Program - Back of Steel 2.0.
For a tutorial on how to use the QL Claw - check out our QL Release page on how to effectively apply deep tissue massage to your quadratus lumborum. Hear from massage therapists, trainers, high-level athletes, and satisfied customers on our Testimonial page. Don't let lower back pain hold you back!
 Donnelly, Joseph M. Travell, Simons & Simons Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: the Trigger Point Manual. 3rd ed., Wolters Kluwer Health, 2019.
 Davies, Clair, and Amber Davies. The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook: Your Self-Treatment Guide for Pain Relief. 3rd ed., New Harbinger Publications, Inc., 2013.