Lower Back Pain Relief – Unloading the Gluteus Medius and Quadratus Lumborum

Lower Back Pain Relief – Unloading the Gluteus Medius and Quadratus Lumborum

Here is a a lower back pain relief technique with the theracane to release tension in the lower back.

Common places of overload in dysfunctional bodies are typically the gluteus medius and quadratus lumborum.

When the Glutes do not fire on their primary function (extension), the path for this compensation will likely rear its ugly head around when involved in unilateral movement (type of movement most encountered by humans).

Since hip flexor restriction is present in most of the population due to excessive sitting, the primary function of the Gluteus Maximus will become inhibited through reciprocal inhibition.

The act of compensation stemming from this tightness will re-orient the position of the femur to the hip socket, altering a new path of movement.

The new path typically will be one of which that will greatly overload the Gluteus Medius.

In this video we address the the Gluteus Medius to help with this dysfunction. Do remember that the body is an integrated system and that this technique by itself could only help alleviate symptoms of a much bigger problem.

It is recommended that you check out the book “The Power of Posture” to learn where proper integration starts.

Most people get lost at the initial stages of learning because they do not have a foundation.

With the right direction in the onset, we will increase the likelihood of integrating and therefore becoming more capable of addressing the imbalances mentioned in this video.

STRETCH intentionally,
not habitually,



Hello, this is Naudi Aguilar at Functional Patterns and for today’s video tutorial I’m gonna be showing you guys a myofascial release technique for the gluteus medius. This region of the body tends to be very compensatory in most people’s movements specifically because we have grown accustomed to sitting in a stationary environment and when we involve in the stationary environment, specifically what we’re gonna find is that there’s gonna be certain dysfunctional patterns that happen within the body.

As I mentioned in videos prior in regards to an anterior pelvic shift, when we have tight hip flexors restricting the gluteus maximus on hip extension, the function of going from here to here, the body then is going to bypass this functions from here to here and go directly into hyperextension and external rotation. If you look down at your feet right now, if you happen to stand up, you might notice sometimes that your feet begin to point outward. You may notice that your knees begin to point outward. It’s a very common trait out of most people in our culture. Really what that is, is really just a secondary and third function happening in the body. When we hyper extend, and externally rotate, that’s just primarily a result of the gluteus maximus not functioning well because we have certain imbalances present in our body.

Well the muscles that we’re gonna focus on releasing today are gonna help get our feet pointed outward and a little more straightforward. Now to break this down a little bit further for you guys, I want you to think about that if I was operating from my primary function, my first function of the gluteus maximus which is extension going from forward to the middle, right, that the gluteal fibers would be extending the hip going straight back. So my leg would be going straight back in this direction.

However, if I wound up having a restriction here, it’s going to inhibit that primary path of movement which would be hip extension so if I have tightness here, I would bypass this movement and then I would go into the secondary functions but also the third function. That’s what’s gonna be the most important for us to pay attention to. So when I’m involving myself in this position where my feet externally rotate, rather than my legs kicking straight back, what I’m going to incline myself to do is actually use hip abduction. Hip abduction being this. When my feet are standing straight forward, or I’m pointing straight forward, hip abduction’s going to be this.

But when I deviate my femurs and I externally rotate them, then I’m essentially going to use hip abduction to propel me into my gait cycle when I’m walking and that’s gonna create a whole compensatory state when I’m walking and you’re gonna notice a whole lot of deficiencies that begin to happen. We tend to overload too much of the gluteus medius, too much of the quadratus lumborum. Tend to overload the upper abdominal muscles that pull us into thoracic flexion. This is part of the chain of what also inhibits the function of our anterior and posterior oblique system and that’s something that I talk about with you guys all the time, that we always wanna link those anterior and posterior sling systems so that way they can set us into gait, they can set us into throwing, into punching, kicking, pretty much all the functions that we need in reality.

So this is gonna be an extremely important myofascial release technique that’s gonna help us bridge that gap between getting from there to there. Getting away from that external rotation and moving more into an aligned position when we involve ourself in our gait and really just in most of our movements in general. So we’re gonna get utilizing a theracane. You’re probably going to need a wall specifically for this specific technique. Really what I want you guys to think about when you’re doing this technique is that when you are involving yourself in it, you’re gonna pin down the theracane right here to the wall. From there, once you’ve pinned down the theracane to the wall, you’re gonna then set your hip directly into that. And you’re gonna locate, right here, you’re gonna notice that your pelvic bone is about right here and we’re just gonna bring the theracane just slightly beneath that. So it’s gonna be just slightly beneath that.

You’re gonna set the theracane right into that spot, that’s where you’ve pinned this down into the wall and from there you kind of have a little handle here which is really really nice. You can kinda use this handle to kinda pry it back and forth. I like to put tape on my theracane. You guys will see I put some athletic tape. Just simply so it’ll be a little more sticky to the wall so it won’t slide off. So what I’ll do again, just pinning it down there so that way it doesn’t slide off too much and then I’ll just pry it back and forth on the lateral fibers.

Once I get done getting into the lateral fibers I can actually start turning my body away from the wall a slight bit and begin to drive in there a little further with that theracane. You have to realize the circumference of the gluteus medius goes all the way around, almost to the sacrum so you wanna go all the way around. Get that entire circumference of the gluteus medius. You kinda just got back and forth and pop it. Let that sucker settle in there. If this is the first time, if this is the first time you’ve ever done any kind of myofascial release specifically on the gluteus medius, I would not recommend going to this right away mainly because if you go to this first it’s much more pinpointed. It can be a little bit more of a shock to your nervous system immediately.

What I would recommend instead of using a theracane at first would actually be just grabbing a tennis ball, placing it on the wall essentially doing the same thing. For me I’m more advanced, I’m constantly looking for the next things that are gonna get into those deep fascial barriers restricting my movement so that’s why I tend to go for a theracane specifically.

So now we’re gonna go into the other side. From there I’m standing right there to the wall. I just let that sucker settle in. I kinda just use this hand right here to pry back and forth into there. I even started involving a lateral flexion a little bit to get some active release. Just prying that sucker open. Then you can focus on a lot of different range of motion techniques where you can try balancing on one leg and kicking one leg back. The reason sometimes I don’t go directly towards an active release for myself personally is that sometimes when you focus on the active release, you take away the attention of how to actually release the muscle in the first place but my personal experience is that when you do focus on any kind of myofascial release, the most important element is actually palpating the muscle correctly so that way the tension does dissipate over the course of time.

So if you focus so much on trying to move your body around and going into some crazy range of motion when you’re doing myofascial release, you may not get the entire effect but even beyond there you might not get the deepest effects because most of the dysfunctions that are present in most people’s muscles are located closest to the bone and not necessarily the surface. Active release doesn’t necessarily get as close to the bone as what an actual deep myofascial trigger release point might. So there’s a technique for you guys to help you release that tension on that gluteus medius.

If you do tend to have knee pain, foot problems, lower back problems, hip problems, pretty much any problems in your body, it’s quite likely that you’re gonna have some excessive tension happening right here in that gluteus medius. This region of the body for most people, 99% of all people that I’ve ever met tend to have a very very tight gluteus medius and it goes right back to what I explained at the initial points of this video. When you do have those imbalances present in your body it’s only a matter of time before some kind of compensatory movement pattern is gonna be created within your body and then you’re gonna have those residuals pop up in those other muscles.

So I do hope that you guys enjoyed this video and that you’ll practice this technique. It’s a really really great one. Definitely not for the beginners. For those of you have been doing your MFR for awhile, this technique’s specifically for you. Anyway I will be seeing you guys soon. I will be putting up more videos here in the future. Be sure to subscribe to the YouTube channel and I’ll see you guys next time. This is Naudi Aguilar remind you to live intentionally and not habitually. Take care.



  1. Rui December 8, 2014 at 1:25 am - Reply

    very good explanation of how tight hip flexors can change our gait. I do have a couple of questions:
    1- will everyone compensate the same way?
    2- why only work gluteus medius and QL? Is it possible that the cause of disfunction is something else?
    3 – what are we actually targeting with the that tool you use?

    Thank you

  2. Nandakumar March 15, 2016 at 11:35 am - Reply

    I’m in India in Chennai, I have low back pain any one in Chennai to solve is problem

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