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Iliocostalis Lumborum Muscle: Low Back and Buttock Pain

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

What symptoms and pain are associated with the iliocostalis lumborum muscle?

  • Pain in the low back
  • Pain concentrated in the buttock
  • Low back can become hypersensitive to touch
  • 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


Iliocostalis Lumborum Origin, Insertion, Action, Innervation

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.

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.

Clinical diagnoses to which the iliocostalis lumborum symptoms may contribute:

  • 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 associated with the iliocostalis lumborum muscle:

  • Latissimus Dorsi
  • Quadratus Lumborum
  • Serratus Posterior Inferior

Help with Iliocostalis Lumborum Muscle 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 lumborurm, I recommend using Biofreeze.

Hot Cold Pack For Back Pain

CorPak Soft Comfort Hot & Cold Pack Wrap is a versatile pack that can be used to treat many areas of the body. This pack works well for the back as it is large and can cover a large area. The pack is filled with pliable gel and has a soft frost free cover that will not irritate your skin. For recent injuries, use it cold to reduce swelling. For older injures or chronic pain use heat to relax the muscles and increase circulation.

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.

Highly Recommended Back Support For Low Back Pain

The Pro-Choice 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 also 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.

I have recommended this brace to many clients and friends with chronic low back pain and everyone has commented how much it helps relieve their pain and increase mobility. If you have muscle, tendon or ligament injuries, new or old, I highly recommend that you try this brace.

Sizing: Small and Medium fits waists 22" - 38". Large fits waist 24" - 40". X-large fits waist 41" - 50. XX-large fits waist 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 in the 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.

Easily Treat Hard  To Reach Areas Of The Body

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. The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook has diagrams showing how to use the Theracane to treat hard to reach areas.


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