In collaboration with the General Women's Union, the Public Relations Section at the Ministry of Interior’s Public Relations Department, organized an awareness-raising medical lecture entitled “Joint Ache, Who can Help?” in the auditorium at the ministry’s Headquarters. Dr. Khalid Abdullah bin Ya’rouf Al Naqbi, Consultant and Head of the Rheumatology and Arthritis Department at Al Ain Hospital delivered the lecture, which falls within the framework of the health awareness campaign organized by the General Women's Union under the slogan “Your Health under the Microscope.” The campaign personifies the commitment to educate community members about the common diseases and encourage them to visit doctors for early diagnosis and appropriate treatment, in order to maintain their health.

The lecture was attended by Colonel Hussein Mahmoud Al Awadhi, Acting Head of the Public Relations Department at the Ministry of Interior, along with a number of the department’s officers and MoI staff members.

At the beginning of the lecture, Dr. Khaled defined arthritis as a form of joint disorder that involves inflammation of one or more joints, accompanied by early morning stiffness. He also explained that the term “rheumatism” is an ambiguous term for medical problems affecting the joints.

After that, Dr. Khaled highlighted the difference between rheumatologist and orthopedic surgeons. “Rheumatologists prescribe medicine to treat arthritis diseases (such as rheumatoid arthritis and gout) in addition to connective tissue diseases (such as lupus, scleroderma, Sjogren's syndrome, which causes dry eyes and mouth, and polymyositis) and spinal inflammatory diseases. Orthopedic surgeons carry out diverse orthopedic procedures related to bones and joints diseases (such as fractures and tumors),” Dr. Khaled explained.

The lecturer elaborated on cases of patients suffering from arthritis (such as rheumatoid arthritis) and spinal inflammation, particularly those accompanied with colitis, psoriasis, or iritis. He also stressed the importance of early detection of arthritis, in order to allow early treatment and avoid joints deformity.

Dr. Khaled also reviewed the rheumatoid arthritis comprehensive treatment provided at Al Ain Hospital and based on the latest international guidelines. He explained that treatment begins by educating the patient about the nature of his disease and making sure that he is having the necessary fundamental vaccinations. After that, the patient is referred to an ophthalmologist, a physiotherapist, or joints surgeon if necessary. Dr. Khaled also highlighted the benefits and potential side effects of medicines that are used in the treatment of arthritis, such as cortisone, methotrexate, and biological medicines that have revolutionized the treatment of arthritis diseases.

The lecturer also discussed the spinal inflammation symptoms, especially for young people. The symptoms include chronic low back pain before 45 years old, buttock pain, aching night-time pain, and early morning stiffness that lasts more than 30 minutes; sports-specific exercises and analgesics may relieve the pain, which may be exacerbated during periods of rest. He asserted that proper diagnosis represents half of the treatment; the other half is patience and medicine. “Early detection avoids patients suffering or complications,” noted Dr. Khaled.

Additionally, Dr. Khaled tackled the challenges that may impede early detection, such as lack of cultural awareness about arthritis diseases among people and doctors and patients continuously changing doctors inside the country and abroad as they seek treatment.

Towards the end of the lecture, the floor was opened for discussion; attendees interacted with the lecturer who answered their questions and queries.

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