Back Pain·Supports

Extra time for prevention

Two fields, one tactic

From Bauerfeind Life Magazin on 30.06.2022

In short He knows all about top athletes and uses his knowledge to treat regular patients. As an orthopedist at the Dortmund Prevention Center and team physician of the German national women’s soccer team, Carsten Lueg has one top priority: prevention.

  • The orthopedist uses supports and braces to treat back patients individually as part of multimodal pain therapy.
  • For example, the LumboTrain back support can give external support, while the SacroLoc pelvic brace can stabilize the lumbar spine, the physician explains.
  • As one of two team physicians for the German national women’s soccer team, Carsten Lueg sees medical prevention as an important part of his care.
  • When treating top athletes and when providing individual treatment for diverse patient groups, Carsten Lueg wants to act as a team player.

Prävent Centrum in Dortmund, Germany, has a great setup with an inter-professional team. The same applies to the women’s national football team. Carsten Lueg, orthopedic specialist and sports physician, is rooting for both. We paid this team player a visit.

It is not until we reach the stairs to the examination and treatment rooms on the upper stories, past a row of signed team jerseys, that we realize that it really is a whole, detached building: Prävent Centrum in Dortmund, in the green south of the city. Good planning, because the space is definitely needed. A well-coordinated team of specialists for internal medicine, cardiology and the orthopedist Carsten Lueg and his staff work at the medical center for private patients. Prävent Centrum provides check-up examinations and treatment procedures that are in no way inferior to what a hospital has to offer.

LumboTrain and SacroLoc for support

“We focus on internal medicine, but a lot of patients also bring their orthopedic lifestyle conditions to the check-ups,” explains Carsten Lueg. “That’s where I come in.” For example: back pain patient Sanja Pigl. The medical assistant suffers from a herniated disk in the lumbar spine. Carsten Lueg fits her with a LumboTrain back support. “As part of multi-modal pain therapy, she is provided with external support that allows her to cope with increased strain,” the physician explains. “The SacroLoc pelvic brace is also an aid I like to use for stabilizing the lower lumbar spine because of its circular compression. Stimuli received by skin receptors convey 3D information of the body’s positioning to the brain. This helps prevent undesirable micromotion in the facet area.”

For multi-modal pain therapy, Carsten Lueg uses supports and braces to stabilize the back.

Having athletes’ backs

Another one of Carsten Lueg’s patient groups is less likely to suffer from conditions related to a sedentary lifestyle. Nevertheless, the back is often affected. “Continuous inappropriate mechanical stress when playing football, for example, associated with the typical pelvic movement when kicking the ball, can lead to back pain. So the question is: which foot is subjected to more strain? What impact does this have on the muscles? Athletes also suffer from intervertebral disk problems, but this is more common in handball players or gymnasts than football players,” the sports physician reports. “Problems can occur wherever movements tend toward hyperlordosis. Participants in throwing sports are also prone to back pain. Vertebral displacement is a separate issue in that group.”

Support and advice

Another patient has an appointment. André Scholz is also part of the sporting customer base visiting the former national league handball player at Prävent Centrum. They already know each other. Today, an AchilloTrain support will hopefully help the PE teacher’s Achilles tendon, which he tore and had to have surgery on. Carsten Lueg explains the support’s active principle to him. A call comes in. The boy is here, with his father. The physician says good-bye to André Scholz without haste, “The AchilloTrain will help you. Give my regards to your family.” Carsten Lueg goes to an adjoining room. “Osgood-Schlatter’s disease,” he reports later, referring to the knee condition of the 12-year-old he examined in the presence of his father. The father, also a handball player and patient here, asked for his advice. Carsten Lueg recommends considering the use of a knee support to the treating pediatrician.

Neuroathletics and sleep hygiene experts

Carsten Lueg can also contribute his expertise in the targeted care of different kinds of patient groups, often in consultation with colleagues who treat beforehand or afterwards, to another major field: together with Dr. med. Tobias Schmenn, he looks after the German women’s national football team as the team physician. Before a major competition, the two physicians take turns on around 90 days a year. This takes up a lot of time. In addition to orthopedic qualifications, the position primarily requires the characteristics of a team player and communication skills. Carsten Lueg sees the majority of his work in the coordination between the coach, players, club physicians, physical therapists, neuroathletics experts, sleep hygiene specialists and nutritionists. “The German Football Association has also organized the area of care in an inter-professional way to match the performance increase in women’s football, which has almost been exponential. There has been a direct correlation between both developments.”

“Whether professional athlete or standard patient – everyone is provided with world-class medicine.”

Carsten Lueg

World-class sports promotes world-class medicine

Nevertheless, this year’s European Championships in England in July will be a huge challenge for the eight-times champions from Germany. “We can expect a really tough initial stage,” says the team physician who will join the team at the latest for the third match in the preliminary round on July 16 against the strong Finnish players. The tactics of the coach, Martina Voss-Tecklenburg, could be: a controlled attack. Carsten Lueg’s game plan on the other hand is clear and can be disclosed without any advantage to the opponents: using some extra time on prevention. So the question remains how his patients can benefit from his experience in world-class sports during “usual” daily life at Prävent Centrum? He gives a typical football player’s answer: “It’s a win-win. They are provided with world-class medicine!”

Images: Michael Bause, Thomas Boecker/DFB

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