Arthritis: What Every Black Person Should Know

An xray of of leg, ankle and toe joints with red pain markers.Joint pain, arthritis and other musculoskeletal health issues are rapidly disabling America. Arthritis, for example, is the single greatest cause of chronic pain and disability among Americans. The impact however, is worse among two segments of the population: African Americans and women.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that severe joint pain, activity and work limitations due to arthritis were significantly higher among these groups in comparison to the rest of the population

…and this health crisis is getting worse.

Last year, various national health surveys demonstrated that African-Americans disproportionally bear the burden of impaired daily living affected by arthritis and related disabilities. Additionally, arthritis increases the chances for comorbidity in African-Americans. These diseases include diabetes, heart disease and obesity–medical conditions that can be improved with physical activity.

“The physical and economic burden of arthritic pain and disability is an important connecting thread in the dialogue about health disparities among women and racial/ethnic minorities, yet it is not being widely discussed,” said Charles Nelson M.D, assistant professor of Orthopaedic Surgical Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and a steering committee member at the caucus.