Massage tools have flooded the market, and two emerging products pave the way for targeted, at-home deep tissue massage - Pso Rite and QL Claw. Both lower back pain relief products have primary targets (the Psoas and QL muscles respectively), but claim to also release other muscles that can contribute to lower back pain when tight.
This article reviews a few similarities and key differences between the Pso Rite and QL Claw products, so you can determine which alternative is best for your case.
Pso Rite & QL Claw - The Muscle Targets
Psoas: Pso Rite was the first product designed to target the Psoas muscle for release. Pso Rite's success paved the way for many Psoas release copycat tools - including Hip Hook, Meat Grinder, and many more. In my opinion, Pso Rite remains the best Psoas muscle release tool on the market.
Quadratus Lumborum: QL Claw was the first tool designed to release the Quadratus Lumborum (QL) muscle in the lower back. Before QL Claw, QL release was typically performed ineffectively with a lacrosse ball, Pso Rite, or household object. QL Claw remains the only purposefully made QL muscle release tool on the market.
Psoas and QL can both cause chronic lower back pain when tight. There are a variety of tests you can do to determine the source of your pain (check these posts on QL Pain and Psoas Pain for symptoms), but it is always best to check with a licensed professional for your individual case. You can release each muscle and others with Pso Rite or the Claw, but each is better at releasing its respective target.
Pso Rite & QL Claw - Muscle Release Carryover
Being able to release the Psoas and/or QL is great, but lower back pain is often a bigger picture than just 2 muscles. It is actually often 5 muscles. This table shows the 5 most common lower-back-pain-causing muscles and how effective each tool is at releasing the said muscle.
The 5 Lower Back Pain Muscles / Contrasting QL Claw & Pso Rite
Pso Rite & QL Claw - Material
A key differentiating factor between QL Claw and Pso Rite is the material. Pso Rite is made of hard ABS plastic, and QL Claw is made of a rubbery polyurethane derivative. Both products are incredibly durable, but Pso Rite is more rigid and tougher on muscles. Neither is necessarily better than the other, it is more a matter of personal preference. One reason to support both products: as of writing this post, both products are designed and manufactured in the USA.
Pso Rite & QL Claw - Size
It can be difficult to tell how big Pso Rite and QL Claw are until holding each in your hand. Both easily fit in a backpack, gym bag, or carry-on for on-the-go muscle release. From customer feedback/reviews, however, it is worth mentioning both Pso Rite and QL Claw products are probably bigger than you think.
Review Of Pso Rite & Alternative QL Claw side-by-side
Pso Rite's dimensions are 10.7 x 5 x 5.3 inches and weighs in at 1.1 lbs.
QL Claw's dimensions are 10 x 3 x 3.1 inches and weighs in at 1.8 lbs.
Pso Rite & QL Claw - Cost
As of writing this, both products ring in at exactly $69.99. QL Claw's price has stayed constant at this number, and Pso Rite tends to fluctuate.
At the end of the day - both products will help relieve a lot of muscular tension and potentially relieve a lot of pain. Personally, I own and use both tools, using Pso Rite for the Psoas muscle and the Claw for the QL, glutes, and Iliacus muscles.
If you enjoyed this post reviewing Pso Rite and an alternative, check out the links below for more information on deciding which muscle release tool works best for you:
How To Use Pso Rite:
Review which muscles you would like to target, and lay on the Pso Rite accordingly to massage those areas.
Where To Place Pso Rite:
The Psoas muscle (pictured above) is the primary target of the Pso Rite and a great place to start.
The QL muscle (picture above) is the primary target of the QL Claw and its respective place to start.
Both alternative tools can be used on other lower back pain muscles as well, review the tutorials thoughtfully for the most relief.
Pso Rite & Alternative Review Vs. Tennis/Lacrosse Ball
If you have only used balls and foam rollers up until this point, Pso Rite and QL Claw will blow you away. Unlike balls, these tools are designed solely for therapeutic muscle release.
Using a QL Claw or Pso Rite is like hunting with a precision sniper, and using a ball is like hunting with a rusty old shotgun. If you have dealt with back pain for a long time, it may be time to treat yourself to the right tool for the job.