National Associaltion of Myofascial Trigger Point Therapists - Symptom Checker

Iliocostalis Lumborum
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This is the technical name of the muscle being described.  This name may be used to find additional information in any medical resource.

Superficial group:
(erector spinae)
Longissimus Thoracis Longissimus Cervicis Longissimus Capitis Iliocostalis Thoracis Iliocostalis Cervicis Iliocostalis Lumborum

Deep Group:
A group of muscles generally denotes muscles of the same function and may share a common attachment point. Paraspinal muscles. These muscles consist of a superficial group of long-fibered longitudinal muscles and a deep group of short diagonal muscles.
Muscle function, in this definition, is what the muscle could do if it was to contract by itself with the body in anatomical position.  This is a general definition of muscle function.  For more information on how muscles work together on the body please refer to a physiology or functional anatomy text.

These muscles primarily extend the spine and contribute to rotation of the spine to some extent (particularly for stabilization).  The superficial fibers are extensors, and the deeper fibers supply an increasing rotational component for fine adjustments.

A description of where a Myofascial Trigger Point may produce pain in the body.  This area is generally located away from the trigger point.

Iliocostalis thoracis pain is projected medially (towards the spine) and may spill over anteriorly in the abdomen and up toward the back of the shoulder.

Lumbar iliocostalis pain is projected toward the mid-buttock.

Longissimus thoracis pain is projected downward toward the sacroiliac region of the buttock.

Multifidus and rotators pain centers on the spinous process at the segmental level of their TrPs.  In the lumbar region, they refer a few segments below the segmental level of the TrP.

A description of the symptoms a person may experience with trigger points in the muscle being described.

The chief complaint is pain in the back and sometimes in the buttock and abdomen.  A person may call this pain lumbago.  The pain is usually a unilateral (one-sided), extremely disagreeable, steady ache deep in the spine.  This pain markedly restricts spinal motion and a person’s activity, especially difficulty rising from a chair and climbing stairs facing forward.  A person may find little relief by changing position and feel that the pain originates in the bony spine and not in the muscles.


 A list of possible diseases that fit the information derived from examination of a patient.

  1. Articular dysfunction.
  2. Fibromyalgia.
  3. Radiculopathy.
  4. Visceral disease.
  5. Thoracolumbar osteoarthritis.
  6. Fat lobules.
  7. Strain of spinal ligaments.
  8. Renal diseases and gallstones.
  9. Metastatic tumors from the breast, ovaries or prostate.
  10. Retrocecal appendicitis.
  11. Ankylosing spondylitis.
  12. Hodgkin’s disease.
  13. Paget’s disease.
  14. Leukemia with enlarged retroperitoneal nodes.

A list of activities or positions that may either CAUSE a trigger point to manifest or PROLONG a pain condition respectively.

  1. Key TrPs in the latissimus dorsi.
  2. Sudden overload or sustained or repeated muscular contraction over a period of time may activate TrPs in the paraspinal muscles.
  3. A quick, awkward movement that combines bending and twisting of the back, especially when the muscles are fatigued or chilled, is likely to activate TrPs in these muscles.
  4. Mechanical factors (such as lower limb length inequality) may perpetuate these TrPs.
  5. Carrying a wallet in the back pocket.
  6. Leg and pelvic asymmetry.
  7. Almost any factor that contributes to a significant gait deviation can activate TrPs in these muscles.
  8. Whiplash injuries.
  9. Prolonged immobility, such as sitting in airplanes or cars for long distances.

A corrective action is usually a modification of daily routine which will reduce stress on the affected muscle(s) in a person with myofascial trigger points.

  1. Correcting structural inadequacies such as limb length inequality.  This type of corrective action may include lifts for shoes or the buttocks when sitting.
  2. Revising daily activities such as lifting properly.
  3. Modification of environment, especially chair design.
  4. Temporary application of a brace or corset for low back support.
  5. Move wallet from the back pocket to the front pocket.
  6. Avoid walking or jogging on slanted ground or slanted beach.

References : 
Simons DG, Travell JG, Simons LS, Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual, vol 1, 2nd Ed. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins, 1999.

Travell JG, Simons DG, Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction, vol 2. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins, 1992.

This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease.  A proper diagnosis should be sought from a licensed health care provider.