Headache Program Offers Relief

Thelma Hammel of Allentown suffered with debilitating migraine headaches for as long as she can remember. Her headaches were so unbearable that she relied on prescription narcotics to relieve her everyday pain.

“I tried so many different medications, but I didn’t want to take them,” says Thelma. “I didn’t want to be reliant on drugs for the rest of my life. I have an eleven-year-old son, so I don’t have time to be tired.”

Over the years, Thelma had countless conversations with her primary care physician (PCP) regarding her headaches. In fact, she had to call every 15 days to refill her prescription pain medication. So when Good Shepherd announced its Headache Program, Thelma’s PCP was quick to refer her.

Thelma called Good Shepherd Rehabilitation – CedarPointe and was scheduled for an appointment with Cathie Dara PT, DPT, OCS, STC. “After a thorough evaluation, I gave Thelma exercises to help relieve muscle tension and increase flexibility in her neck,” says Cathie. “Thelma is 100 percent committed to the program. She faithfully does her exercises at home.”

At first, Thelma had to do her exercises every two hours to relieve pain, but she is able to do them less often now. She is also more conscious of her posture and positioning. “I had a bad headache a few weeks ago, but I came to therapy the next week and discussed it with Cathie,” says Thelma. “It didn’t take us long to figure out that the headache came right after I had gone ice skating for the first time. I was holding my arms, neck and shoulders in an uncomfortable position for an extended period of time, which caused the headache.”

Seven weeks into the program, Thelma experiences headaches less often, and when she does have a headache, it is much less severe. Incredibly, she is completely off of the narcotic pain relievers. “It’s amazing,” says Thelma. “I would recommend the program to anyone who suffers the way I did.”

“Thelma has a much better understanding of her body,” says Cathie. “She is empowered to take control of her health, and that is what Good Shepherd’s Headache Program is all about.”

For more information on Good Shepherd's programs and services, call 1-888-44-REHAB (73422) or contact us.