September is Pain Awareness Month

Wednesday, September 24, 2008 General News
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WARSAW, Ind., Sept. 23 According to the Centers ForDisease Control (CDC), almost one in three African-Americans suffers fromjoint pain. Joint pain makes it difficult to exercise, which is desperatelyneeded to help combat chronic health conditions like obesity, diabetes andhigh blood pressure that severely impact the African-American community.

"Every warning from governmental and non-profit health organizationsimplores our community to 'get moving' because of the positive impact it hason combating these conditions," explains Verona Brewton, Director of MinorityInitiatives. "But we have failed to make the direct link between painfulmovement and poor health."

The CDC reports that the knee is the joint that causes the most pain(5).Additionally, the CDC reported that African-Americans cite arthritis as theleading condition that limits their daily activities. Arthritis is the thirdmost common problem among African-Americans(6), and arthritis-attributablework limitation disproportionately affects minority groups(7). In a May 2007report, the CDC projected a nationwide surge in arthritis prevalence, whichcaused the Arthritis Foundation to warn Americans to take action now to limitfuture disability(8).

"There is a vicious cycle at play: African-Americans suffer from chronicconditions that require us to exercise. But we also disproportionately sufferfrom osteoarthritis and chronic pain in our knees and hips that prevent usfrom exercising," explains Ms. Brewton.

Early intervention is key as there are a wide range of options toalleviating joint pain. The onset of knee or hip discomfort should not bedismissed as one of the natural signs of aging without discussing it with aprimary care physician. There have been significant advancements in joint paintreatments. Today's options offer non-surgical solutions which providetemporary pain relief and more permanent solutions such as joint replacement.Today's advancements have progressed to address differences in gender. Womenaccount for nearly two thirds of knee replacement procedures in the US(9).

Regaining mobility and being active is critical in helping to manage anddefeat chronic health conditions. The health and social care costs related tochronic disease and pain management is on the rise:

Restoring optimal mobility, eradicating daily pain and taking charge ofour health are some of the most important ways that the African-Americancommunity can overcome these issues. Pain and poor mobility should not beaccepted as a normal part of life. A primary care physician or jointspecialist can provide advice and options to overcome painful movement.

Established in 2006, Zimmer, a worldwide leader in orthopaedics, createdthe Back in the Groove* Program to educate African-American communities abouttheir options for treating joint pain, including joint replacement and thedramatic improvement in quality of life it can deliver. For more informationon Zimmer's Back in the Groove* Program, log onto or call 1-866-923-2345.The statistics are alarming: -- One in four African-American women over 55 years of age has diabetes(1). -- African-Americans have higher death rates for coronary heart disease (CHD), coronary artery disease (CAD), and stroke(2). -- The prevalence of high blood pressure among African-Americans is among the highest in the world(3). -- There is an estimate that 80% of black women and 60% of black men are overweight or obese (which contributes to heart disease, certain cancers, high blood pressure, diabetes among other chronic health conditions)(4).

SOURCE Zimmer Back in the Groove

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