The 12th of October is observed each year as a day to shed light on the price we pay for the sedentary life style we unfortunately lead, which results in the inflammation of the joints that affects movement, which we call: Arthritis.
The day was commemorated in Egypt through a forum held digitally under the title' Don’t delay, connect today'.
The forum was organized by private sector Pfizer to shed light on the extent of the problem and explore the latest treatments and advances to support people living with the condition, as well as encourage people to lead a healthy lifestyle and detect the condition earlier on.
The panel highlighted that because the urban population is becoming increasingly sedentary, poor muscle mass and less bone strength are a direct result. Arthritis is almost a pandemic in a certain age spectrum.
They added that among different types of arthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the most common rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs) in the region. The condition causes significant joint inflammation and pain impacting daily and occupational activities for patients.
From the National Health Sector in Egypt, Dr. Shaimaa Eeila Consultant of Rheumatology Committee, shed light on the importance of getting the right treatment. "Inflammation is a critical response to potential danger signals in the body with autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, the immune system attacks its tissues," said Eeila.
"Rheumatoid arthritis is a painful and debilitating condition that takes an immense toll on patients' quality of life," she said. "Patients need not settle for 'good enough' citing genetic or age-related reasons instead of seeking newer advanced treatments, there is most definitely help to manage the disease," she added.
To understand the symptoms of the condition, Dr. Yaser Mustafa Ali, Rheumatology Consultant in Kuwait stated "For patients, having rheumatoid arthritis, morning stiffness that lasts more than an hour typically suggests an inflammatory stage."
"Patients may also show signs of chronic fatigue, weight loss, as well as anemia however, the availability of new medication is proving successful in managing the disease. We see the availability of oral medications also proving to improve patient adherence," said Ali.
From Saudi Arabia , Dr. Mohammed Ali Al-Mansour, section head of Rheumatology at King Fahad Medical City emphasized the importance of early intervention. "We support and send out the message of 'Don't Delay, Connect Today' to patients and their families to cite the importance of early diagnosis."
"Patients must visit a specialist Rheumatologist and seek treatment as early as possible to manage the condition," he added.
Experts seize the day each year to stress that keeping weight in check, doing stretching and flexibility exercises and strengthening muscles around the joints are pivotal in keeping those joints pain-free and healthy on the long run.
A typical diagnosis of this condition happens usually between the ages of 30 and 50, and according to statistics by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the factors of developing the disease could be genetic or environmental but in general, women smokers and those with family history are at a greater risk.
As per global prevalence statistics, Rheumatoid arthritis as a chronic inflammatory disorder affects 14 million patients in Africa and the Middle East region.