The Danes are an active people. Feeling at ease while running together is the athletic version of “hygge”, the special Danish feeling of happiness. A cautious physiotherapist and GenuTrain help to prevent knee problems from getting in the way.
At the health care center in Hadsten, a town not far from the city of Aarhus on the Danish peninsula of Jutland, patients must feel like honored guests at exclusive hotels. Here, the famous sense of “hygge” starts with comprehensive personalized service and even extends to the architecture: an inner courtyard bathed in light guides visitors to the offices of various physicians, therapists and chiropractors, a fitness and rehabilitation area of 1,600 square meters and Fysio-shop.dk, a private physiotherapy clinic with a Bauerfeind Performance Center. The owner, Karsten Høgh, who has worked as a physiotherapist for 20 years, is the driving force behind this joint project that celebrated its grand opening in September 2019. His aim was to establish an inviting location with close connections for the wide range of services offered at the health center: “Treatment networks do not create themselves,” he affirms. “Proximity makes a difference. We meet up here. We can knock on each other’s doors, offer mutual advice and discuss patient cases.” He sees himself as a cooperation partner for colleagues at the center and in the surrounding area, from private clinics to state institutions for medical and professional rehabilitation. And his project has been a success. The catchment area extends far beyond Hadsten.
Showroom instead of waiting room
and state-of-the-art equipment
From the atrium, visitors can see directly into Fysio-shop.dk with its Bauerfeind Performance Center and the treatment rooms (which can be screened off) to view potential aids. Premium products and high-tech devices for diagnosis and treatment are presented openly. “We paid particular attention to our equipment ,” Karsten Høgh emphasizes. There is an ultrasound machine in one room and a grinding machine for foot orthoses in the next. There is also a Bodytronic 600 body scanner for compression treatment , the only one of its kind in Jutland. The physiotherapist is known for his expertise and individual treatment programs, especially among athletes. He is assisting the health staff of several professional handball clubs and of the Bakken Bears, currently the most successful basketball team in Denmark and scoring in EuroLeague, too. In 2013 he started sharing his knowledge with other professionals, offering a modular training program for physiotherapists with Bauerfeind products that he has used regularly for 15 years. One of his focus areas is functional knee treatment , often using GenuTrain and now of course with the latest generation of the knee support.
Personalized treatment plan including functional screening protocol
So how exactly does he work? “I take a look, I test for function and symptoms, measure and make adjustments,” as Karsten Høgh describes his procedure. He used to work at a public clinic where he had no more than 25 minutes per appointment. Now in his own clinic, he spends approximately 45 minutes to explore the right treatment program and proceed together with his patient. “At first , we perform multiple functional tests, record the pain score and select a product such as GenuTrain. Then we repeat the tests during exercises at the gym and create a functional screening protocol. That’s very important. Then we, including the customer, can experience improvements and create a personalized treatment plan. We adapt this plan as treatment progresses, for instance by increasing training times depending on the objective and constitution.“
GenuTrain for meniscus problems
This is demonstrated by Jens Mathiasen, who has come for a check-up appointment today, wearing a GenuTrain on his left knee. He seems impressively athletic for a man in his mid-fifties. Every week, the school principal runs around 30 kilometers after work with a group of friends. This combined with recommended strength and stability exercises. His current training goal: the half-marathon in Berlin this April. “I started having knee problems three years ago,” he reports at the gym. “I experienced pain while running. Exercise is important to me, so I was very rattled.” A member of his running group recommended Karsten Høgh. Upon examination, the physiotherapist detected a meniscus problem. In Denmark, it is not uncommon to visit physiotherapists directly for a first opinion. Jens Mathiasen was referred to a specialist , had to undergo surgery and returned for follow-up treatment. “We went over to the gym next door, and I got on the treadmill , with and without the support , for hours at a time. Then up the stairs to the pharmacy and back down, the same procedure. Then we performed an evaluation. The next step was to give him GenuTrain for stabilization,” recalls Karsten Høgh, who can supply patients and customers with medical devices in Denmark. Given this careful procedure, it is hardly surprising that Jens Mathiasen is now training for long-distance runs. “Now with the knee support , I can run without pain again,” he enthuses. “I wear it for protection on long-distance runs to balance the constant stress and prevent damage to my meniscus.”
GenuTrain for hypermobility
Injury prevention is the key word for Nadia Jensen: the Fysio-shop.dk patient also has a follow-up appointment with Karsten Høgh. “I also run, but I have a different kind of problem. I am hypermobile. My joints are able to move very far in all directions. That might be good for yoga, but it’s not good for my knees on the long term,” explains the 28-year-old. “On top of that , I suffered a serious accident in 2008. I was riding in a bus that had to brake suddenly and my left side basically collapsed – subluxation of the kneecap. It completely destabilized me.” An Elmslie-Trillat procedure was performed to correct the patellofemoral misalignment. In this process, the bony insertion of the patellar tendon at the tibial head was shifted medially and distally and temporarily fixed with screws. Afterwards, she visited Karsten Høgh. “In principle it’s an advantage to have flexible muscles and ligaments,” the physiotherapist explains, “but of course, this also reduces joint stability and control of twisting forces. People who are hypermobile have an increased risk of injury in many types of sports.“
Runners united by supports
Nadia Jensen continues to run. Running makes her feel good. “It helps me clear my head,” she says. Recently, she has been exercising with the new GenuTrain. She is also familiar with the previous model. For her tailored functional treatment , Karsten Høgh went through the same program with her as he did with Jens Mathiasen: Treadmill , climbing stairs: first without the support , then with the support. During the follow-up examination, he is looking in part to see how the support balances the increased stresses on the knee. “I feel stable and confident with the support ,” the cheerful young woman describes her own experience. “With the new support , I can tell that the pressure points on kneecap are different. And it doesn’t slip at all. Overall , there’s more support.” “That’s true,” affirms Jens Mathiasen. “The support fits securely during running,” he adds. “Even over the distances we run every day.” What about putting on and taking off the support? “That’s easy with the new donning and doffing aids,” they say in unison. Karsten Høgh, a knee patient himself, has also worn the support. The minute he took it out of the box, he says, “I had that familiar feeling of quality, but something was different. The new knit fabric felt a bit firmer. When I put it on, I could feel the improved contact and tighter fit.” It is also lighter and more breathable: the previous model was effective but often got warm. For him, the athletic design has a less medical look and seems more natural. He is looking forward to increased stimulation with the new Omega+ Pad when he feels the new flexible massage nubs on the Hoffa spots and lateral meniscus wings of the pad. “More information in this sensitive area simply has to help. I was immediately impressed by the new GenuTrain. The quality sticks to the brand. This includes the sustained compression and durability of the supports that I experienced with all previous models: that is what I and my patients rely on.“
Solving the patient‘s problems
The main goal is to reduce pain, clarifies the owner of Fysio-shop.dk. “There’s no denying that’s the main reason patients come to me. With GenuTrain, I have a tool to combat pain. The varied stimulation provided by the Omega+ Pad for proprioception likely plays a role. Modified stability, coordination or gait could all be solutions for the patient’s problems. Scientific studies have demonstrated this. These are excellent points to make in a sales pitch. However, there are still some reservations against supports due to alleged muscular atrophy. We need to eliminate those concerns.” Karsten Høgh looks around him. For two of his patients, no convincing is needed. In spring, Jens Mathiasen and Nadia Jensen want to run the half-marathon in Berlin. So does their physiotherapist. With a bit of “hygge” for their knees, they are ready to go.
GenuTrain: Key position on the knee
GenuTrain is considered the original among the functionally active supports, which assist during movement to achieve their stabilizing effect. When it was launched in 1981, it was the first anatomically contoured knee support with an integrated patella pad. It relieves knee pain, provides secure support for mild instability, and helps to balance loads more dynamically. The new generation of the GenuTrain was released in October 2019. Its new high-low knitted fabric features a highly textured surface that permits better adhesion in direct contact with the skin. Its viscoelastic pad, the Omega+ Pad, works together with the knit fabric to massage the tissue during movement. This relieves pain while at the same time positively influencing sensorimotor function. Two Hoffa spots on the lower edge of the pad and lateral wings stimulate sensitive areas such as the infrapatellar fat pad and the base of the meniscus. New flexible massage nubs in the spots and wings made of firmer material provide extra stimulation to increase the therapeutic effects.
*Originally featured in Bauerfeind LIFE Magazine: https://www.bauerfeind-life.com/en/tailored-functional-treatment-genutrain/