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Interview with physiotherapist Björn Reindl
One wrong movement and it pinches, stabs or cracks - the muscle closes, the ligaments tear or the bone is through. Injuries in sports can happen quickly, but they can also be the result of long-term improper stress.
Björn Reindl was head physiotherapist at Eintracht Frankfurt between 2001 and 2008 and is a DOSB sports physiotherapist (German Olympic Sports Association) and osteopath. In his R2comSport health center, he made football professionals Marko Marin and, most recently, Alex Meier fit again after his knee injury.
In an interview, he talks about the therapy for injured professional and amateur athletes.
How do you get competitive athletes back to a competitive level as quickly as possible after injuries?
The treatment of our patients is an interaction of different specialists in their respective fields. These include physiotherapists, osteopaths, nutritionists, sports scientists and other disciplines. Through a good and close cooperation of our experts, we try to ensure a quick return of the patients, which is therefore a result of our team effort.
Many professional athletes injure themselves again shortly after their injury breaks. Inadequate medical and therapeutic treatment or premature comeback?
Certain things about an injury are known in advance. If we take the cruciate ligament rupture as an example, we know that the body's center of gravity was shifted backwards when the injury occurred, and this resulted in valgus trauma, usually without external influence. During the return-to-play, among other things, a check is made - for example during a jumping movement - whether the athlete no longer has a major tendency towards valgus trauma and is able to exercise again.
Otherwise, different reasons can play a role: a comeback that is too early could really lead to another injury, or the fitness condition of an athlete after his injury is not as good as the training program requires. I'm a friend of only letting an athlete go back when they no longer need a lot of individual attention.
What would you advise injured athletes to do, regardless of whether they are professionals or hobby athletes? Cure injuries in peace or work as hard as possible to return as quickly as possible?
It always depends on the individual case and the situation. You have to have both: work quickly on your comeback, but also listen to your body. There's no point in delaying your injury. It is therefore always advisable not to return prematurely if there is a risk of a serious injury. Otherwise, the person concerned has to weigh up how necessary his comeback is. Given the demands of competitive sport, the healthiest decision is not necessarily made.
How big is the difference between professionals and amateur athletes? Do professional athletes recover faster from injuries?
This is due to the effort that the injured person puts into recovery. Of course, the effort involved in supporting amateur athletes is not nearly as great as it is for professionals. The actuarial concessions naturally play a crucial role in the patient's recovery.
Which functional devices do you use in your treatment? What exercises do you do with it?
The devices used range from an entire fleet of devices to small devices. Sling trainers, for example, are suitable for training because they can be used to carry out a large number of exercises using your own body weight. These use several muscle groups at the same time and are suitable for strength and coordination training as well as for stretching against the normal, functional chain and the simulation of complex movements, which ultimately help the athlete.
The sling trainer is not only suitable for strength training, but also for coordinative and functional stretching or myofascial training.
Which devices can especially amateur athletes use at home to recover from injuries or to prevent them?
The use of unstable surfaces can help amateur athletes to prevent injuries. These promote the sense of equilibrium, balance and stability. In this way, falls and unwanted movements during sport can be better avoided and compensated for, which reduces the risk of injury.
How do you use Fazer within your fascial therapy treatments? What is the effect of this form of treatment?
I use the Fazer for various forms of treatment. The fascia cannot be separated from the muscle, which is why I use Fazer for various treatment goals, since an improvement in trophism and a targeted treatment of special structures are very possible. This form of therapy does not change the outcome of the treatment, but it can improve the speed of regeneration.