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Headache Program Helps Stephanie Lapping Enjoy Life Again

August 28, 2017

The pain began as a throbbing the size of a golf ball at the base of her neck. It was the summer of 2016, and Stephanie Lapping had been going from one doctor to the next to find relief. Nothing she tried – conventional physical therapy, drugs, chiropractic and cortisone shots – had made her pain go away.

“Sometimes my headaches were so bad I would just lie on a couch in my office for hours,” said Stephanie, a 37-year-old paralegal who lives in Bethlehem. “There were times I would come home from work in tears because the pain was so intense.”

Several years prior, Stephanie had been involved in an auto accident, where she was rear-ended by a vehicle. Stephanie came to Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital, where she received physical therapy to recover from the whiplash injury. But a second car accident made her neck problems worse and caused new ones. She started suffering from headaches and migraines, nearly every day of the week.

Stephanie said, “The headaches affected every area of my life. Sometimes I could not do basic things like go shopping with friends. Instead of enjoying an evening out with my husband, I would stay home and sleep.”

At one point, Stephanie was taking three different medications to control the pain. She was desperate to stop the hurting for good.  While having a conversation with a client, she learned about Good Shepherd’s Headache Program and made an appointment with Ryan Sander, PT, DPT, a Good Shepherd physical therapist.

“Our program works really well in headaches that are coming from the neck,” said Ryan. “We gave Stephanie a series of precise movements and postures to perform that relieve nerve irritation and decrease headache symptoms.”

The program’s success does not depend on surgery or drugs, but on the patient faithfully following through on the exercises. From the start, Stephanie diligently performed three sets of 10 exercises every three hours.

“The program really empowers the patient to take treatment into their own hands, and their own healing process,” said Ryan. “We treated Stephanie in our outpatient clinic and taught her how to maintain her progress with home exercises.”

For Stephanie, this therapy was a lifesaver. Now, her life is back to normal. And on the rare occasion she does start to feel that twinge of pain, she has the tools to squash the hurt.

“The exercises really work. This therapy changed my life. It took away all the pain I was feeling and gave me my life back,” she said. “I no longer take any pain pills and I am enjoying life again. It was the best thing I ever did.”–