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KEY POINTS • The quadratus lumborum and psoas muscles are antagonistic yet have an interesting codependent dynamic. • Sink into the thoracolumbar aponeurosis and erector spinae group and continue to slide anteriorly until you palpate the convergence of where the QL meets the psoas. In a recent podcast episode (Ep 147 – "Old Man Psoas": The Rebel MT with Allison Denney, www.abmp. com/podcasts/ep-147-old-man-psoas-rebel-mt-allison- denney), I compared the quadratus lumborum (lovingly referred to as the QL) to being the youngest kid in a large family of muscles. Flanked by the erector spinae, blanketed by the thoracolumbar aponeurosis, and responsible for a whole lot of core movement, it can get cranky from doing too much and yet constantly being ignored. But there is another relationship the QL is in that deserves some attention, and, in reality, probably a little therapy too. For as long as it can remember, the QL has been coexisting with the psoas. If we take a closer look at where each of these muscles latches onto the bones they move, you'll notice they share gripping points. The transverse processes of the lumbar vertebrae—otherwise known as spine pegs—protrude from the sides of the lumbar vertebrae and make the perfect handhold for both of these deep-core muscles. While the QL lingers in the background and clings onto the last rib and the iliac crest, the psoas lies just in front, nestled up to the bodies of the lumbar vertebrae The QL and the Psoas The Epitome of Codependency THE REBEL MT TECHNIQUE By Allison Denney Quadratus lumborum Psoas before it drops down and finds the lesser trochanter. And, although the QL is considered a low-back muscle and the psoas is considered a hip flexor, what you may not realize is they share the blanket of connective tissue that surrounds them both and binds them into an interesting dynamic. These two thick muscles are commonly talked about in isolation and not very often discussed in terms of their relationship to each other. Like two married Hollywood movie stars who suffer because they spend most of their time apart, these two are more like a dysfunctional marriage than you might think. They are together, yet separate. They are united, yet divided. They are dependent on each other, yet completely, disjointedly codependent. TOGETHER YET SEPARATE Let's look at the most basic element: they are antagonistic muscles. The QL is responsible for trunk extension and the psoas is in charge of trunk flexion. This means they cohabitate a very small space but constantly want to do their own thing. And while we may see a myriad of examples of antagonistic muscles fighting over a joint in the body, the unique aspect 24 m a s s a g e & b o d y wo r k j a n u a r y/ fe b r u a r y 2 0 2 2

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