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I was lucky enough to get my hands on a QL claw from Back Muscle Solutions to see what the tool is like to use and if I think it can make a real difference to lower back pain sufferers.
Table of Contents
- What Exactly is a Disc Bulge?
- How My Disc Bulge Happened
- Tip – Keep It Moving
- What Is the QL Claw All About?
- QL Claw Vs Pso Rite
What Exactly is a Disc Bulge?
So I injured my back not too long ago, it was a disc bulge injury brought on by overuse and overexertion.
For those that don’t know, a disc bulge or what many people call a slipped disc is when the spongy discs which lay in between the harder bones of the spine become compressed and that compression causes the spongy disc to spill out.
The disc once it spills out of position can then press against the sciatic nerve which then causes even more discomfort because that sciatic nerve runs all the way down your leg and so you in turn lose a lot of flexibility because of it.
If you have heard of or know anybody that has a condition called sciatica, then this is what they’re going through.
How My Disc Bulge Happened
My problem reached a head one day while I was working out – I went to lift a weight and I felt something wasn’t right.
After seeing a physio and getting an MRI scan done on my lower back I was told it was a disc bulge injury, I was also told that this injury was kind of a ticking time bomb.
At the time I worked an office job, so I would sit down slouched in an office chair for most of the day, at the time I also drove a car that had a seating position that wasn’t the best for a guy of my height. And to cap it all off, I didn’t work on my flexibility enough or strengthen certain muscles in my lower back.
During my worst times with that injury I’d watch a lot of videos and read up on a lot on things I could do to alleviate the pain of the sciatica and to help the situation I was in, the one recurring thing that came up was the Quadratus Lumborum muscle or the QL muscle which is a muscle found deep in the back and plays a really big role in lower back pain.
I began stretching that area, amongst other things and doing routines that strengthened and released the QL muscle, it really did give me a boost in the toughest times dealing with that injury.
I would sometimes take a tennis ball and spend maybe ten to twenty minutes just laying on it, that would really give me some much needed relief, sometimes I’d use a foam roller too and of course I would do exercises to help strengthen the area on top of all of that.
That was my attempt at trying to fix what at the time was an undiagnosed disc bulge.
Now I’ll say that I’m over the worst time of the injury, I’ve since seen a physiotherapist, had the MRI scan done and done a whole bunch of therapy on the area and my back situation is lot better now. But i still make sure I keep that lower back area loose, so I still foam roll the area and stretch it in the mornings first thing and especially after I’ve done a workout.
Tip – Keep It Moving
In my situation and it might be relevant to others as well, your first reaction when you strain or pull a muscle in your back is to stop moving altogether, lay on the your bed or the couch and maybe give up on training for a while until it heals, but in actual fact I was told not to do this.
Lying down in one position for a long period of time can makes you more sore, I was told to keep moving and stretch every 20 minutes to encourage blood flow.
Still train if you can, but just don’t lift heavy weight.
What Is the QL Claw All About?
This device is specifically made to target the QL muscle to give relief of tension in that area. Something that plagued me for a while especially due to the fact I was in a job where I would sit down for very long periods of time
The problem I find is that there aren’t really many good tools specifically designed to target the QL muscle.
I’ll admit, using the tennis ball and the foam roller does give me some relief, but the roundness of the tennis ball doesn’t hit that spot well enough.
I would have liked to try something with a little more let’s say sharpness to it that really digs in.
You’re all gonna think I’m crazy, and don’t try this at home, but at my worst time I actually did improvise once by using the base of an empty wine bottle to roll my back on, rolling my back on the base of the bottle really did something good, but obviously I wouldn’t recommend it because glass can of course break!
I really needed something with more of an edge to it that none of the foam roller, tennis or lacrosse ball could give me.
This QL claw when I first looked at it, looks like it’s going to go a bit further than the tennis ball did. It looks like it has what I needed at the time, you can lay on either side, it has a slightly more dull side but this sharper end, looks like what I was looking for.
It’s quite a simple tool to use, no real skill involved, and it is effective..
I wouldn’t say it would replace the foam roller or a lacrosse ball altogether, but I see this more as something that I would have at home and use daily because it hit the spot really well and I’ve not come across anything that worked as well as this for targeting my lower back, hip flexors and also my glute muscles too. It’s quite a handy tool.
QL Claw Vs Pso Rite
The only other tool I could compare this to that I have used is the Pso Rite, it’s a plastic tool of similar size, the Pso Rite does hit the psoas or hip flexor muscle well, but I don’t feel it hits the glute or the lower back muscles anywhere near as good as this QL claw does.
Using the QL claw was pretty nice, that extra hard connection I needed that led me to using a wine bottle, this really gives you that. I think it’s a tool that will help a lot of people.
The first time using it, it did feel a bit hard so I had to go slow and ease myself into it. If you’ve been using a tennis ball like I have then you’ll be used to a softer press so it did take a bit of getting used to but after the first day I was comfortable laying on it for a really long time.
The QL claw is also good for targeting your glutes too. If you have tightness in the gluteal area it can be beneficial to use something like the QL claw over a flat roller because this will hit the deeper muscles way more efficiently than something softer like a tennis ball.
You can of course use a foam roller that has nodules on it, and there are some really good firm ones out there but for something that requires minimal movement and a ease of use, I think the QL claw is a really helpful tool.
One other thing I think worth mentioning is that for larger or people with more limited flexibility who have trouble reaching that spot with a lacrosse or tennis ball or even foam roller, a device like this might actually be more useful to you as that spot is quite deep in the lower back and this goes both deeper and you don’t need to roll on it as you would with a foam roller, you lay on it until you find the spot and then do a light movement to help release the tightness.
I found that it’s really all about finding the right spot and going slow more than anything else with this.
That was my review of the QL claw, an innovation by Back Muscle Solutions, if you think something like this could help you or a loved one, do share this video with them.
Visit: backmusclesolutions.com/products/ql-claw and get 10% off by using the code ‘listedfit‘