Interview 1



As back pain is currently among the most common forms of health disorders at the workplace, on the occasion of World Health Day, Dubai Health Experience (DXH) would like to share tips on how to eliminate back pain at the workplace from one of Dubai’s most prominent medical experts.

The following tips are provided by Dr. Samih Tarabichi, a pioneer in advanced orthopedics in the UAE for the past 17 years who has performed over 8,000 knee and joint replacement surgeries with an exceptional success rate.

“In most cases, back pain is benign and usually responds to traditional pain management techniques. 95 per cent of low back pain is labeled as ‘mechanical’, which has to do with muscle weakness and only 5 per cent requires more serious consideration,” Dr. Tarabichi said.

Sitting for long hours, improper posture or poor posture and obesity are some of the major causes for mechanical lower back pain. The patient should seek medical attention if back pain persists over a week to rule out any serious issue. If the pain persists or gets worse after extensive work and lasts for over a week, it is advisable to consult a doctor.

For those who spend long hours at the office, their computer screen and keyboard should be at a proper level and the chair should be stable and comfortable. A correctly adjusted chair will reduce the strain on your back. Get one that is easily adjustable so you can change the height, back position and tilt.
Your knees should be slightly lower than your hips. Use a footrest, if you feel it is necessary.

General exercise and mild sport such as stretching can potentially reduce the incidence of lower back pain. Frequent short breaks will also help you as it gives the muscles a chance to relax which can eventually prevent your back becoming stiff and tense.

As mentioned before, a majority of back pain cases are benign; however prevention is better than treatment. The right positioning, regular exercises and short breaks can help you avoid lower back pain in sedentary work environments.

Dr. Sameh Tarabichi is the Director General and Consultant Orthopedic Surgeon of Burjeel Hospital for Advanced Surgery, one of DXH Group Members.