Physio Fundamentals

An interview with Dr. Mohamed Al Rayes, Sports Physiotherapist at Wellmed Wellness Clinic Multispeciality Clinic

Wellmed Multi-Speciality Clinic located on the Sheikh Isa Bin Salman Highway connecting Bilad Al Qadeem, covers some prominent medical specialties including Orthopedics, Physiotherapy, Hydrotherapy and Sports Medicine, catering to all patient profiles – from pediatric to geriatric. The BTW team met Dr. Mohamed Mirza Al Rayes, who recently joined the center as their sports physiotherapist. The following are excerpts from the conversation we had as he shared with us some details about the various injuries associated with sports, the treatment techniques and the Wellmed’s upcoming event.

What does it mean to be a Physiotherapist?

To be a physiotherapist means you are working in a highly respected medical profession which usually needs to you to look at the various ailments of the physical structure of the human body. The aim of a physiotherapist is to help reduce the physical limitations and improve the physical ability of a patient.

What made you want to become a sports therapist?

Sports physiotherapy is one of the important specialized branches of physiotherapy especially in Bahrain. With Bahrain having a lot of aspiring youth enthusiastic in sports and athletics and with the specialty knowledge that I have gained, I would love to be of service in sports therapy. Also if you would see there are very few specialists in this branch in our nation and am trying to fill in this gap with the best of my abilities.

What is the most common injury you see in your clients in Bahrain?

According to the latest clinical studies, ankle sprain is the most common injury found in athletes, both in our part of the world and internationally. I used to see about 3 athletes a day with such injuries and on international ground the statistics show 1 among 1000 persons and that is a huge percentage. In addition to this, ACL injuries and muscle sprains along with ailments that come with overuse of body parts are found common.

How much of an affect do you think posture has had on these injuries?

The posture plays a vital role and is closely related to these injuries. The human body is sophisticated and its parts are closely related to each other. For example, one of the methods we use to find out if an athlete is susceptible for ACL injuries, is to closely watch his landing techniques and if the knees come inside and the posture changes during the same we will be able to connect it with predicting the injury.

Could you kindly elaborate on the upcoming event from Wellmed?

At Wellmed we continuously try to give back to the community through different offers and workshops. For international health day, we are planning to have consultation and workshops conducted here for everyone who would like to visit us.

As a certified professional, how do you decide between using Kinesio taping and Mulligan technique on your clients?

It’s all about taking the decision of using the right technique for the right person at the right time. According to our assessment, we put the treatment plan in place and decide on the techniques to be used. Sometime we even combine different techniques together to get the best results. Generally, I prefer the mulligan technique as it is totally a manual activity and doesn’t require the aid of any equipment. In addition you will see the therapeutic effect immediately. Kinesio taping is widely used in sport injury corrections as they give long term effects.

Being in a football loving nation, we know that you may be seeing several different game related injuries regularly. How do you think these injuries differ from other games?

Every game has a different specification on the injuries that happen during the game. It depends on the kind of activities that are associated with the game. In Football 23% of the injuries are associated with the thigh. Another 20% are knee injuries and 14% related to ankle. If you see the hand ball games, the injuries are related to the upper limb and hand. But one of the major issues that are being discussed over the globe is the sudden cardiac arrests that happen while players are in the game. Luckily it only adds to 1-2% of total injuries that happens.

Many a times parents get scared that their kids will get injured that might lead to being handicapped and may not allow their children to engage in outdoor sport activities, which is not true. Kids in their growing stage need to be there outside and engage in physical activities. It helps in their overall development.

Are there any dangers in working with unqualified Physiotherapists? Can you elaborate?

Yes. It is extremely dangerous to leave your injury in the hands of an unqualified person. I remember a case that was once referred to me, that had undergone a surgery and was then immediately given treatments using lasers and machines. This is an extremely dangerous and unacceptable practice which had, in turn made the knees of the patient immovable. I had to get the patient to undergo a surgery again to correct his knee joints and then started off with the therapeutic sessions. I am glad that the person is now ok, but the situation was a nightmare for everyone. Such inexperienced and unprofessional decisions can end a person’s career or may be even his life.

What is the best advice you can give people wanting a career in sports therapy?

Here in Bahrain, being a therapist for a club may be easy. But to be a successful practitioner you need to continue educating yourself and be updated with latest researches and findings that happen in this field.  I also advise to keep a strong will power as the problems you might face here are numerous. You may have to face the trainers and managers of the injured athlete who might want them to perform immediately. And you will have to hold your ground and correct them from taking endangering decisions for the patient.