November is National Diabetes Month

Painful Joints: An “Unspoken” Barrier To Combating Chronic Health Conditions For African- Americans (WARSAW, IN) – The statistics are alarming: • Almost four million African-Americans have diabetes. • One in four African- American women over 55 years of age are diabetic . • There is an estimate that 80% of black women and 60% of black men are overweight or obese (which contributes to diabetes, heart disease, certain cancers, high blood pressure, among other chronic health conditions) . Keeping weight under control plays a critical role in managing these health issues. However, many African-Americans face a major hurdle: they are living with chronic joint pain.

“Every warning from governmental and non-profit health organizations implores our community to “get moving” because of the positive impact it has on combating these conditions, “explains Verona Brewton, Director of Minority Initiatives, Zimmer. “But we have failed to make the direct link between painful movement and poor health.”

A November 2006 Centers For Disease Control (CDC) report revealed that the knee is the joint that causes the most pain. Additionally, the CDC reported that African- Americans cite arthritis as the leading condition that limits their daily activities. Arthritis is the third most common problem among African- Americans , and arthritisattributable work limitation disproportionately affects minority groups . In a May 2007 report, the CDC projected a nationwide surge in arthritis prevalence, which caused the Arthritis Foundation to warn Americans to take action now to limit future disability .

According to Jean Pompey, Zimmer’s Back in the Groove™ program representative, “coping with diabetes and arthritis seemed to be an uphill battle.” Before Pompey’s double knee replacements, she was not able to exercise.

“I needed to exercise to lose weight, but I was in so much pain, I couldn’t exercise. Zimmer’s Back In The Groove program gave me important information about the link between painful movement and poor health, and the wide range of options to eliminate joint pain,” explains Pompey.

Early intervention is key as there are a wide range of options to alleviating joint pain. The onset of knee or hip discomfort should not be dismissed as one of the natural signs of aging without discussing it with a primary care physician.

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