The Diaphragm: A Hidden “Cause” of Low Back Pain

Dr. Rob D'Aquila

The diaphragm is arguably the most important muscle in the body. I say this because, as you know, it’s the muscle that reduces pressure in the chest cavity (along with the muscles between the ribs) causing air to be forced into the lungs. Hence, it allows for breathing. The diaphragm is situated in the lower portion of the ribcage and attaches to the lower six ribs, the xiphoid process (a projection off the bottom of the sternum), and the first three lumbar vertebrae (L1, L2, and L3). Additionally, there is a connection between the diaphragm and two very important muscles involved in low back (lumbar) and pelvic stability; namely the psoas (the main hip flexor) and the quadratus lumborum (QL) (a ribcage and pelvic stabilizer). The connection with these two muscles and the lumbar vertebrae can make uncovering and resolving dysfunction of the diaphragm the key to alleviating low back…

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