Listening Time — 17:14
When Jen Bambrough was 19 years old, she did not think much of the car accident she was in. It was essentially a fender bender, and she initially seemed none the worse for wear. Over time, though, a physical toll revealed itself. The young woman experienced chronic pain that limited her activities and compromised her quality of life. Because the root of her pain couldn’t be readily detected, however, Jen faced skepticism in the medical community and experienced misdiagnoses.
Sadly, that’s not unusual. Headlines and studies say it all: In 2017, the magazine The Atlantic ran an interview with a leading bioethicist titled, "The Long History of Discrimination in Pain Medicine." Four years earlier, the peer-reviewed journal Pain Management Nursing published a broad narrative review on the impact of disbelief toward patients with chronic pain.
In this episode of Move Forward Radio, Jen discusses how she became a strong self-advocate, eventually becoming successful in gaining a large measure of relief from her pain. She also talks about how physical therapy is an important piece of the pain-management puzzle, and now she is in school, pursuing a career as a physical therapist to help ensure others don’t endure what she did.
Jen Bambrough is a third-year student in the physical therapy program at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. She chose to pursue a career in physical therapy after a personal experience with chronic pain and has a passion for making a difference in the profession. She earned her bachelor’s degree in kinesiology at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. She and her husband live in Chattanooga and enjoy an outdoor lifestyle of rock climbing, hiking, stand-up paddleboarding, and yoga.