I was 14 when I first developed low back pain. Not the usual occasional mild ache, but a debilitating pain that significantly impacted my quality of life. I struggled with walking, sometimes even with getting out of bed on my own. I lamented the fact that I could not play tennis or run track and field without being sidelined for days, and that it was too painful to wear heels to my 8th grade graduation. I could not understand why and how I was no longer a "normal" teenager.
I pursued treatments and the professional advice of various physicians and healthcare providers, but no treatment was effective and no diagnosis was discovered. I was puzzled and perplexed by the lack of answers, and I felt powerless at times.
It took another 10 years for a Physician Medicine & Rehabilitation (PM&R) physician to "think outside of the box" and diagnose me with an autoimmune arthritis condition called ankylosing spondylitis. Finally, with a diagnosis, I felt as if I had power over my life again. Though there is no cure (yet), I am now able to consider options to help slow down the progression of my disease. Twenty-three years after my initial symptoms, despite certain physical limitations, I strive to live each day to the fullest and to not succumb to a diagnosis that does not define me.
Having experienced my own struggle with pain and seeing the extent to which it affected my life (as well as the lives of those close to me), I chose a career path as a PM&R physician that would allow me to help others by reducing or eliminating their pain, in order to optimize health and quality of life. My goal is to provide answers to those who are searching - as I had for 10 years - so that they can start living (happily!) once again.
Research is the cornerstone for progress in all aspects of medicine. With the more than 100 forms of arthritis that affect both children and adults, supporting research is the only way a cure can be discovered - a cure that can and will change the life of someone you know and love.
I am honored to serve as the medical honoree for this year's Jingle Bell Run, benefitting the Arthritis Foundation. I would love to see you on my team, Jen's Jinglers (or you can make a donation!), as we walk/run together with the hopes to one day find a cure. The Jingle Bell Run is not only a fundraiser to support arthritis research, but it is also a fun and festive event for the entire family. I hope to see you at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center for the race on Dec. 9!
Call 513-792-7441 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Chung . Dr. Chung is pictured above on a glacier hike in Iceland.