Investigation and Modeling of Obesity and Low Back Pain in the UAE

  • Ruqayyah Alkaabi

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Low Back Pain (LBP) and obesity have emerged among the most common health problems, particularly in patients who are attending health care service centers at primary levels in the United Arab Emirates. As such, the causal association between obesity and LBP has for the past few years piqued the interest of many researchers. On the other hand, there continues to be substantial controversy concerning the association between the two, particularly in terms of causality. A significant challenge in the process of trying to ascertain the causal relationship and implications of LBP in association with obesity is the nature of the condition, as the pathophysiology of LBP and mechanical attributes remain largely elusive. This research project proposes a clinically-driven collaborative effort to investigate the spinal biomechanics of obesity and LBP in the UAE, a country where both obesity and LBP are more than double the global averages, and where the onset of both conditions is 10-15 years below global average. The proposed study investigates the spinal biomechanics of obesity and LBP in the UAE towards devising new therapeutic/rehabilitative strategies. A silico experiment was designed and implement where a musculoskeletal simulation model was developed IV to identify the mechanical loading on the lumbar spine using AnyBody software. The model simulated the mechanical loading on the lumbar spine for three different cases regarding to the body composition: normal weight, overweight and obese. All three cases was designed and implement to be in two postures: Neutral Stand and Flexion Forward. According on the results obtained, it is apparent that mechanical loading on the lumbar spine intensifies with increase in IBM. Such as all of the body parts, their performance will be affected badly with the overload. And logically, IBM increases with weight; thus LBP is strongly linked to obesity.
Date of AwardJul 2018
Original languageAmerican English


  • Low Back Pain
  • Obesity
  • Musculoskeletal Model
  • Anybody technology
  • lumbar vertebrae

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