September 26, 2019: When Jen Bambrough was 19 years old, she did not think much of the car accident she was in. It was basically 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, she 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 and gained a considerable measure of relief from her pain. She also talks about how physical therapy is an essential piece of the pain management puzzle. She even pursued a career as a physical therapist to help ensure others don’t endure what she did.
Since earning her doctor of physical therapy degree and licensure as a physical therapist in the state of Tennessee, Jen has been involved in efforts to raise awareness of the benefits of physical therapy through the American Physical Therapy Association, and even attended a congressional briefing to speak to members of the House of Representatives. She and her husband live in Chattanooga and enjoy an outdoor lifestyle of rock climbing, hiking, stand-up paddleboarding, and yoga.
Learn more about how physical therapists manage pain.
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Jen Bambrough, PT, DPT, graduated from the physical therapy program at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and earned her bachelor’s degree in kinesiology at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. She chose to pursue a career in physical therapy after a personal experience with chronic pain and has a passion for making a difference for her patients and the profession. She is certified in dry needling and plans to specialize in helping patients with persistent headaches and dizziness that are associated with concussions and disorders that cause balance issues.