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Back Pain Affects up to 80% of Adults in UAE

The Ambulatory Healthcare Services (AHS) is holding a one-day seminar with – interactive learning courses for doctors from the BMJ Group – that will address specific issues relating to (MSDs), which cover any injury, damage or disorder of the joints or other tissues in the back or the upper/lower limbs.

The seminar comes at a time when research suggests that low back pain is now a common problem in the , affecting an estimated 70-80% of adults at some point during their lifetime. In addition, according to the Emirates Arthritis Foundation, arthritis affects 20% of the population of the UAE, yet only 6000 people have been officially diagnosed, mainly due to a lack of knowledge and awareness of the condition as well as a lack of specialists in the region.

Given those statistics, Susan Harrington, Head of Marketing and Business Development for BMJ Masterclasses, which took place on Saturday 24 November at the Beach Rotana in Abu Dhabi said, “We are delighted to bring BMJ Masterclasses to Abu Dhabi to help meet the learning needs of doctors across the region.

“Keeping up with change in medicine can be difficult for busy doctors. This essential day will help doctors get to grips with the latest evidence and best practice for musculoskeletal disorders, giving them greater confidence in managing their patients. It is also an opportunity to interact with experts and peers, and we hope delegates will be inspired by the day,” she said.

Three medical experts will be speaking at the event including Dr. Elspeth Wise, who was recently awarded an MD for research focused on GP registrars’ musculoskeletal education, will chair the event and address the issue of shoulder pain. In particular, Dr. Wise will talk about clinical examination and management of shoulder pain, including exercises and injection techniques.

Upper Limb Disorders () include the condition known as “repetitive strain injury” (RSI), which continues to attract a great deal of media attention. Generally ULD refers to disorders of the hand, wrist, arm, shoulder and neck. It covers those conditions, with specific medical diagnoses, where there is pain without specific symptoms.

Professor Martin Underwood, who is head of the division of health services at Warwick Medical School who’s research interest in community management of chronic musculoskeletal disorders, will present a session about back and neck pain featuring ‘what not to miss’.

The professor will focus on clinical examination and diagnostic tests of the spine, including risk factors for treating chronic conditions with drugs, exercise tips, lifestyle changes and rehabilitation.

Dr. Richard Smith, a consultant in rheumatology and musculoskeletal medicine at Salisbury Hospital and a tutor at the British Institute of Musculoskeletal Medicine, will discuss the management of patients with hip and knee pain. Dr. Smith will examine the key aspects in assessment, current treatments and a comparison of primary and secondary care approach to management.

Lower Limb Disorder (LLD) is used as a generic term for a range of disorders of the hips, legs, knees, ankles and feet. It covers those conditions with specific medical diagnoses, for example Osteoarthritis of the knee and hip, and other conditions where there is pain without specific symptoms.

BMJ Masterclasses are interactive learning courses for doctors from the BMJ Group. For more information log on to

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Jack Dulka

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Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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