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Iliocostalis Lumborum Muscle: Low Back and Buttock Pain

Pain pattern of the iliocostalis lumborum muscle

Pain that centers in the buttock and radiates up into the lower back is a sign of iliocostalis lumborum muscle dysfunction.

  • Pain in the low back
  • Pain concentrated in the buttock
  • Occasionally pain in the low abdomen

Where is the iliocostalis lumborum muscle located?

The iliocostalis lumborum is a muscle found in the deep back.  It attaches to the lower six ribs to the lower back via the sacrum and ilium (hip bone).

What movements does the iliocostalis lumborum muscle control?

  • Straightens the back
  • Bends the back side to side
  • Twists the back side to side
  • Shifts the pelvis side to side

Activities that cause iliocostalis lumborum pain and symptoms:

  • Bending and twisting when lifting
  • Straining when trying to lift something too heavy
  • Whiplash of the lower back
  • Extended periods of sitting in a car or plane

Interesting facts about the iliocostalis lumborum:

The iliocostalis muscles along with the longissimus muscles and the spinalis muscles are the mound of muscles that are felt running down beside the spine.  They serve as a checkrein when you bend over and allow you to straighten back to a standing position.

Iliocostalis Lumborum Muscle

You use the iliocostalis lumborum muscle when you straighten your back, bend side to side, twist your back and shift the pelvis side to side

Clinical diagnoses to which the iliocostalis lumborum symptoms may contribute:

  • Sprain/Strain Syndrome of the lumbar spine
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Lumbar Spine Hyperlordosis
  • Thoracic Spine Hyperkyphosis
  • Scoliosis
  • Stenosis
  • Rib Subluxation (Slipping Rib Syndrome)
  • Herniated Disc
  • Bulging Disc
  • Prolapsed Disc
  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Whiplash
  • Intervertebral or Vertebral stenosis
  • Hip pointer
  • Cauda equina syndrome

Other muscles that should be considered and examined in conjunction with the iliocostalis lumborum muscle:

Satellite Trigger Points: Latissimus Dorsi, Quadratus Lumborum, Serratus Posterior Inferior, Serratus Posterior Superior

For Anatomy Information See: Iliocostalis Lumborum Back Muscle: Origin, Insertion, Actions, Innervation

Help with Iliocostalis Lumborum Muscle Pain

Cold Therapy Gel For Middle and Low Back Injury and Pain

Biofreeze Pain Relieving Gel is an excellent pain relieving gel and I recommend it for those who have sudden onset muscle pain or recent injuries.  It is better than warm therapy gels and creams for recent injury muscle pain as it cools the area much like ice and does not promote swelling. A recent study showed that Biofreeze decreased pain 2 times more than ice and the pain relief lasts 9 – 10 longer. If your pain is from a recent injury from straining the iliocostalis by bending, twisting, picking up a heavy object or tightness from sitting too long,  I would recommend Biofreeze.

Biofreeze is recommended for recent muscle injury

Hot Cold Lumbar Wrap

There are many things that I like about the Elasto Gel Ice & Hot Lumbar Wrap.

  • It can be used for either hot or cold therapy, no need for two separate items.
  • It can be comfortably worn to provide hot or cold therapy while you are up and moving. The gel mixture and 4-way stretch material conforms to the body to provide excellent treatment and comfort.
  • It is durable.
  • Fourth is the sacral tail that comes down covering the sacral area. The sacrum and the area surrounding it is often involved low back pain, yet it is often not a focus when treating with heat or cold therapy.
The Elasto Gel Wrap comes in two sizes: Small fits 24 inch to 36 inch waists : Large fits 36 inch to 52 inch waists.

Warm Therapy Gel For Middle and Low Back Pain

Sombra Warm Therapy Pain Relieving Gel is a pain relieving gel that I use both personally and professionally in my massage therapy practice. Unlike other over the counter heating creams, it provides warmth without burning heat.  Applying Sombra to the muscles along the length of the spine, and  across the lower back can help reduce pain and tightness caused by the iliocostalis lumborum muscle. I recommend Sombra for chronic pain and pain from arthritis.

Sombra Warm Therapy Gel provides pain relief.

SofTouch Large Hot Cold Pack  is a large pack that can be used for hot or cold treatment. The pack is large enough to cover the iliocostalis muscle and wrap down to cover the top of the hips. The inside of the pack contains a clay like substance that remains soft and pliable so you can mold the pack to your body. The outside of the pack is wrapped with soft suede like material that does not shock the skin when touched. My clients love this pack and it is now the primary hot and cold pack that I use in my massage therapy practice.


Recommended Back Support Low Back Pain - Exceptional Relieve From Low Back Pain

The Professionals Choice Comfort Fit Low Back Support is my go to back brace. This brace has helped me more than any other with low back and low abdominal pain. The lumbar pad provides support without the uncomfortable restriction and poking of metal supports. The band is wide, covering the entire lower back.  It has an adjustable Velcro front closure along with adjustable Velcro side panels which can be tightened or loosened to provide support and compression.  The brace reflects your body heat back into the muscles, providing warmth to tight sore muscles. For those with recent injuries or flare ups, it is comfortable enough wear all night and will not disrupt your sleep.

The brace is made of closed-cell, limestone-based Neoprene which is extremely durable and resilient. The brace retains it's shape over years of use and does not absorb moisture.  It can be machined washed on the gentle cycle.

I have recommended this brace to many clients and friends with chronic low back pain and every one has commented how much it helps relieve their pain and helps with mobility. As with other back braces, it may not help much with sciatica pain, but it can provide additional support and warmth to low back muscles which may bring some relief. But if you have muscle, tendon or ligament injuries, new or old, I highly recommend that you try this brace!

Small and Medium fits waists 22" - 38". Large fits waists 24" - 40". X-large fits waists 41" - 50. XX-large fits waists 51" - 60".

Trigger Point Self-Treatment For Middle and Low Back Pain

Do you know that small 'knots', as well as other dysfunction in the iliocostalis lumborum muscle can cause pain low back that concentrates in the buttocks? This pain can also make incredibly difficult to stand from a sitting position.

If you are interested in treating back pain caused by trigger points I  recommend you purchase Claire Davies  The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook: Your Self-Treatment Guide for Pain ReliefMr. Davies explains the trigger point phenomenon and muscle pain in everyday language.  But what makes this book worth its weight in gold are the individual muscle trigger point treatments that Davies has compiled. His diagrams and step by step instructions help you locate which muscles are contributing to your pain,  how to find the trigger point and treat it. If you suffer from unresolved back, hip, buttock and leg pain I highly recommend this book. It takes time and practice to master finding trigger points, but once you learn you have a tool and method to help relieve muscle pain throughout the body. Relieving trigger points in have helped many people resolve their back and hip pain issues. This book is a must-have for anyone interested in finding the cause and treating muscle pain.

The Trigger Point Workbook can help you resolve muscle pain throughout your body.

Treat Those Hard To Reach Areas

The Theracane Massager is a self-treatment massage tool for use on those hard to reach areas on the neck, shoulders, back, hips and legs. If you are considering buying the book The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook to help relieve back, buttock and hip pain you will need to buy the Theracane to use the treatment methods detailed in the book.

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