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life
magazine 2012/1
21
FOCUS
manages to combine his entrance and greet-
ing with a quick hug and a joke. His comment
that his greatest triumph also meant defeat
for the mighty Americans is greeted with up-
roar by Dr. Rogers. It is still a touchy subject
seven years after the event! That said the
physician and the former world-class sprinter,
who currently looks after youth football
teams, have only known each other for a year.
They came into contact through Dr. Bryan
English, another big name on the interna-
tional football and athletics scene. The three
met at Chelsea FC, where Dr. English was then
in charge of the medical team. Curiously
enough, runner Darren Campbell switched to
football after a series of injuries, and even
played in the same team as Ryan Giggs. He
discovered ankle supports during this time,
which he recommends for periods of rehabili-
tation. Darren Campbell can see himself in-
troducing his young footballers to Bauerfeind
supports. With Dr. Rogers, this would be a bit
“like selling ice to the Eskimos.” He points
out that active supports for knees have long
been one of his patients’ favorite product
ranges. The same applies to the ViscoSpot
heel orthosis. As a specialist in musculo­
skeletal medicine, he feels as if the MyoTrain
thigh support was invented with him in
mind. And the physician wears his knee-high
compression stockings – which can now be
seen under his bespoke trousers – on a daily
basis as part of his personal fitness program.
“Sports medicine cannot afford to rest on its
laurels,” is how Dr. Rogers sees the future.
“After all, we athletes don’t either,” interjects
Darren Campbell. “With competitive sport,
the musculoskeletal system determines how
injury prone an athlete is, as opposed to the
cardiopulmonary system,” explains the sports
medicine specialist. “This is also where there
is scope for training. It would be wrong, how-
ever, to lose sight of the body as a whole. It
often heals itself too, if given the right kind
of help through things like supports.” And
how does he see things in terms of London
2012? “We’ll win at least five gold medals!”
And who might “we” be? “The British team, of
course,” says Dr. ­Rogers. The American really
has arrived in London.
Dr. Ralph Rogers, Elizabeth Crane, Managing Director of Bauerfeind UK, and Darren Campbell,
the British Olympic champion for the 2004 4x100 m relay.
cular. The message is clear: a whole chain
of muscles need to be activated rather than
individual muscles in isolation.
Active recuperation a must
in professional sport
The approach adopted by the physician, who
only practices conservative forms of treat-
ment, does not focus solely on his patients’
functional problems. His approach favors
a multidisciplinary method, with the idea
being to bring together within an individual
treatment plan all those factors that affect
an athlete’s performance. These include
nutrition, weight, or even mental attitude.
“I’m the patient’s first port of call,” empha-
sizes Dr. Rogers. “As well demanding a rapid
diagnosis, injured athletes are particularly
keen to feel their own unique situation has
been understood.” The physician is speaking
from experience. He was a top lacrosse player
in his student days. He still works out on the
treadmill and bike five times a week to get fit
for the next triathlon.
“The emotional strain and the pressure ass­
ociated with competitive sport are tremen-
dous. This is why taking an active approach
to breaks is an integral part of modern sports
medicine from a prevention perspective,” is
how he explains his philosophy. Dr. Rogers
made headlines before the football World
Cup in South Africa when he warned that the
English national team was prone to injury.
Dr. Rogers claimed the players had already
undergone too much stress playing for their
individual clubs, with too little time set aside
for recuperation. The inevitable happened:
a weakened “Three Lions” team exited the
tournament after being beaten by the German
team during the quarter finals, whose team
physician happens to be Dr. Hans-Wilhelm
Müller-Wohlfahrt (Wohlfahrt is the German
word for welfare). His credentials include the
term “functional coaching”, which is also a
multidisciplinary approach. It is no surprise
that Dr. Rogers admires Müller-Wohlfahrt,
given their common philosophy.
Physician and Olympic champion:
a close bond
This friendly mood is also evident in
Dr. ­Rogers’s treatment room. Darren Campbell,
President of Pro Athlete Supplementation
has called in, who is also The British Olympic
champion for the 2004 4x100 m relay and
is always in a bit of a rush, but somehow
Reference:
The team physician in football: What skills are important?
Dr. Terence JR Babwah, Dr. Ralph Rogers, International
SportMed Journal, Vol. 9 No.3, 2008, pp.108-115.
www.londonorthopaedic.com
Darren Campbell can be reached at Darren@p-a-s.biz.
See page 39 for contact information for
Bauerfeind UK.
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