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Quadratus Lumborum Anatomy: Origin, Insertion, Action, Innervation

Quadratus Lumborum Anatomy Study

Quadratus Lumborum Anatomy
Origin: Transverse processes of  L1 – L4, the ilolumbar ligament, posterior third of the iliac crest
Insertion: Inferior border of the 12th rib
Action: Lateral flexion of vertebral column; Depression of thoracic rib cage, Elevation of the pelvis
Blood Supply: Branches from the lumbar artery
Innervation: Ventral primary rami of T12 – L3
Blood Supply: Branches from the lumbar artery

Synergist: Erector spinae, Multifidus, Rotatores, Serratus posterior inferior, External oblique, Internal oblique, Rectus abdominis, Intertransversarii, Psoas major, Psoas minor


Primary Actions of the Quadratus Lumborum:

1. Lateral rotation of the lumbar spine when acting unilaterally

  • Agonists: Iliocostalis lumborum,  Longissimus thoracis,  Psoas major, External Oblique, Internal Oblique
  • Antagonists: Iliocostalis lumborum,  Longissimus thoracis,  Psoas major, External Oblique, Internal Oblique on opposite side

Secondary Actions of the Quadratus Lumborum:

1. Elevation of the pelvis when acting unilaterally

  • Agonists: Rectus abdominis, Internal Oblique, External Oblique
  • Antagonists: None – assisted by gravity

For More Information See: Quadratus Lumborum Muscle: Low Back, Hip, Buttock, Groin, Pelvic, Abdomen Pain

Recommended Anatomy Books

The Anatomy Coloring Book is one of the best study and reference books for beginning anatomy students. The diagrams are clearly labeled and allow you to see the relationship and placement of the various structures of the body. You will also be surprised how the act of coloring will help with recall. But this is not just a beginners book, it is also great for practitioners and therapists to have on hand to use with clients and patients to use as a visual reference.

Out of the scores of books in my office Basic Clinical Massage Therapy is by far the most referenced book in my library. The musculoskeletal system is overlaid on human models allowing you to learn the precise location, origin and insertions of each muscle. The models are pictured in various poses throughout the book which also helps you visualize muscles in motion and their actions relationship with the skeletal structure and other muscles. Though it is written for massage therapists, it is an excellent book for anyone who wants to learn about the muscular system. MT’s will benefit from recommended treatments for each muscle.


The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook – Claire Davies, Amber Davies, and David G. Simons

Basic Clinical Massage Therapy: Integrating Anatomy and Treatment – James H. Clay and David M. Pounds

Trigger Point Therapy for Myofascial Pain – Donna Finando and Steven Finando

Massage Therapy Principles and Practice – Susan Salvo

Theory & Practice of Therapeutic Massage – Mark Beck


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