Good Shepherd’s Rapid Relief Program Puts Reporter Back on the Beat

For decades, Joe McDonald lived the life of a hard-charging reporter, always on the run working long days and nights chasing down stories. If Joe had any physical complaints, it was sore feet and a swollen muscle in his writing hand that often ached from clenching a pen and scribbling reams of notes in interviews.

But on a hot summer day while working in the garage of his East Stroudsburg home, Joe felt a sudden hot stab of pain in his lower left back. Although he had been aware of a dull nagging pain for some weeks, he attributed it to the hundreds of pounds of carpeting and particleboard he had pulled up during a recent floor renovation project.

“I think I hauled out about a ton of material,” says Joe. “I spent weeks bent over and twisted in odd positions to get the job done and was understandably sore at the end of the day. But I would just rub some ointment on my back and lie down at night, not thinking much of it.”

Joe’s body had other plans though. Suddenly, Joe could not walk without excruciating pain. He only got relief by lying on the floor, which is where he spent the rest of that day and night. The next morning, it was clear that Joe needed medical intervention. He knew there was only one place to go and one person to see -- physiatrist Asare Christian, MD, MPH, at Good Shepherd Rehabilitation’s Rapid Relief Program in Allentown.

Joe’s wife called Good Shepherd and was delighted to get an appointment for Joe that afternoon. When they arrived, Joe could hardly walk and needed a wheelchair to be taken into Good Shepherd.

“I had never experienced pain like that before,” says Joe. “I did not want to think the worst, but your mind can not help but wonder whether there is something more serious going on.”

After carefully examining Joe, Dr. Christian determined the source of Joe’s pain to be an inflamed back muscle. Dr. Christian administered several relatively painless trigger point injections.

“The effect was immediate,” says Joe. “I was able to stand and walk out of the examining room virtually pain free.”

Dr. Christian sent Joe next door to Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital for an x-ray to rule out any other underlying problems followed by an evaluation by Good Shepherd physical therapist Jim Kelley, PT, DPT, also on site.

Following the evaluation in Allentown, Joe opted to continue physical therapy closer to home at Good Shepherd Physical Therapy – Stroudsburg, and slowly is getting back to normal.

“The Rapid Relief Program lived up to its name,” says Joe. “I am so grateful to have had access to this level and quality of care close to home.”

For more information on Good Shepherd’s Rapid Relief Program for Back and Neck Pain, call 1-888-44-REHAB (73422) or contact us online at