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    Clamshell exercises for lower back pain??
    An_254695 posted:
    The PT I am seeing for lower back pain keeps trying
    to add clamshells (which I thought were for strengthening
    glutes) to the other exercises she gives me. Does this
    make sense at all to any of you? I now have horrible
    pain in my thigh and groin. I had to use a cane today and
    I have not used one for months (ever since recovering
    from hip replacement surgery). The pain is with every
    step I take, plus when I sit down. I had to take Advil and
    Tylenol for any relief. I know I can tell the PT I simply
    don't want to do the clamshells. But I keep wondering
    if it's a typical exercise for lower back pain. Is it possible
    to do abdominal strengthening / core exercises for the
    lower back pain without adding clams to the mix? Thanks
    for any help with this. I am very frustrated and concerned.
    For any help I get from the PT, I always seem to waste
    a lot of time recovering from some ill considered exercise.
    Also, just fyi: I don't really think the PT herself or her
    facility is the problem. They are with a top ranked orthopedic
    davedsel responded:

    The general rule of thumb for physical therapy is that if something hurts do not do it. You could speak with your pt and explain the results of these exercise and see if they can be modified or eliminated from your routine.

    I pray you can get this resolved and get relief soon.
    Click on my username or avatar picture to read my story.


    tlh509 responded:
    I am curious as to what "clamshells" are. Never heard of this word in p.t. before. Thanks.
    bj1208 responded:
    Hi and welcome -

    I agree with Dave - we as chronic pain sufferers cannot use the rule of thumb of "NO PAIN, NO GAIN". Since my back first blew L5-S1 disc out in 2006, I have been to about 7 or 8 different PT's and 3 chiropractors - and if anything hurt during treatment or caused pains afterwards that part of the therapy was stopped.

    I also wonder what "CLAM SHELLS" are?!! - WOW just did a google search and saw lots of sites returned for research -

    Is this the side clam shell exercises? It's no wonder this was never used on me as I know I would not be able to do this with the pains I have in my lower back - leg movements like that would irritate my pains and make them worse.

    I would ask about this - do some research and read more about it.

    Keep us posted ~~
    ~~ Click on my name or picture and read my story ~~

    Take care ~~ God Bless ~~

    ~~ Joy ~~
    peony52 responded:
    Hi, everyone and thanks so much for writing back!
    Well, my PT definitely does NOT believe in the "no pain, no gain" theory. She is very good about asking me about how I react to various exercises. I always tell her what hurts and she has me stop if something hurts. The exercises she has given me so far have been to strengthen the core, I guess you call it, abdominal muscles. They are very gentle exercises and she said they are not designed to give you pain at all. And so far she has been right. Except for these clams. They did not make my lower back hurt. They did make my inner, upper thigh and groin hurt. Not immediately of course. That's the crazy maddening thing about PT exercises. They sometimes don't hurt at the time. So you think you're good. Then wham they hurt later. Because of the weather I have not been able to go back to the PT. I have stopped all home exercises and cut down even on walking when I can (hard to do when you have a job ha ha), have been icing and using heat and taking Advil and Tylenol to get the pain and inflammation down in the thigh. It is working, but slowly. I was just so curious why these clams were tried in the first place. My research didn't yield too much, so I thought asking a back pain community would be helpful. I THINK she might have added them to the mix because as I said before, I am recovering from hip surgery and clams are definitely part of the PT regiment for hippies. But not this hippie.
    This PT I see works for back specialists, nonsurgical, at one of the top orthopedic hospitals in the country. I am now at that stage where you first try conservative measures for the chronic lower back pain. If these PT exercises do not work, I go back to the spine specialist to see what's next.

    When I see the PT next (not sure if it will be this week or next; depends on how inflamed I am and how the weather is), I will give her an earful about those darn clams and will tell you guys what she says.

    Thank you very much for your help!
    peony52 replied to peony52's response:
    Good morning, everyone. I came back to update you and would appreciate your feedback. Also hope this discussion will help anyone else who is wandering around the desert about this back pain stuff the way I am.

    The PT said no more clamshells for me again due to the two setbacks they gave me. Clamshells are for strengthening the flutes, which is one thing the physiatrist wrote for her to follow in his prescription for my therapy. She is giving me another, gentler exercise instead. I don't know the name. Lying on my stomach & tightening my abs.

    I feel sometimes she--and no one--really "hears" me when I describe what I am going through pain wise. I'm sure you folks will know what I mean. I am not afraid of muscle soreness from underused muscles. I AM afraid of inflamed tissues, of overdoing something that leads to tendonitis or bursitis and doesn't get resolved and turns into a chronic problem. I guess I have almost a phobia about this. Because I am recovering from hip replacement surgery (well, that hip is actually recovered, really; it's doing well) AND now am coping with what feels like arthritic pain in the other hip/groin. This is all kind of new. I don't think it's unusual at all for someone who has one one hip replaced to find soon after that the other one is in trouble. But it is really interfering with my ability to do all of these back exercises from the PT if she veers off course.

    Is there anyone here who could offer any tips or insights about PT for lower back problems? I am in the first stage of trying to get the back problems resolved. I went to a physiatrist recommended by by hip surgeon at one of the top orthopedic hospitals in the country. The physiatrist, et al., work at a center at the hospital that's for pain management. He ordered an MRI and X-rays and said he thought the first course of action should be PT and he had high hopes for that. So that's where I am.

    I tried to find a thread here for PT but didn't see one. If I should be posting this elsewhere, please let me know. Many thanks!!
    bj1208 replied to peony52's response:
    Hi Peony52 -

    It's fine that you posted here again - sometimes members will start a new discussion if their one post gets too long.

    One thing I didn't see or may have overlooked was the mention of spine problems - I see that you mentioned having to do abdomen/core strengthening exercises for low back pain but there wasn't any diagnosis or description of what's going on with your low back.

    So if you could please let us know what's going on with your back.

    You can click on my name or picture and read my story - what I can tell you from having PT's in the past - I started in 2006 about 6 months after my disc blew out having to go to many different ones as requested from the pain doc being seen at that time - Pain doc's always said to me "Oh sure we can fix your pains"!! NOT - steroid injections and PT had no affect on my pains so I was shuffled from one Pain Doc to another and all the different PT's (Pain Doc's always had their preference of which PT's they used - and being in a big city there are lots of them!!

    For each one I saw the PT only lasted about 2-3 weeks and would have to stop as the pains were so bad. I'm afraid of my upcoming PT (had 2nd fusion done 12/4) as the area in my lower back cannot withstand anything pressing on it.

    So just to let you know, PT did not work for me. Hope this helps. keep us posted~~
    ~~ Click on my name or picture and read my story ~~

    Take care ~~ God Bless ~~

    ~~ Joy ~~

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