Training and Rehabilitation

Dr. Alison Agres, Dr. Peter Raffalt

On this page we give you an insight into our work on the subject of training and rehabilitation after injuries to the musculoskeletal system.

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Physical activity is essential for the maintenance of overall health and fitness. The positive effects on the human body are numerous, but many people ultimately develop orthopaedic problems that can negatively affect mobility. Musculoskeletal control is especially impaired after injury, leading to dysfunction in dynamic stability. Thus, the aim of our research is to gain a better understanding of structural changes in musculoskeletal tissues and their impact on dynamic function.

Our group is particularly interested in musculoskeletal adaptations induced by training and rehabilitation in both healthy athletes and patients recovering from an injury, respectively. Measurements of lower extremity functional kinematics and kinetics allows for the effect of resistance training and weight bearing within these populations to be assessed. In order to do this, motion capture systems, force plates, and imaging methodologies are combined to gain a more comprehensive understanding of how these physical interventions affect movement.

This versatile approach is employed by our group to develop preventive measures against degenerative diseases. We therefore aim to develop means for early detection of joint instabilities as well as to determine specific training programs to work against these issues. This includes the design of a prevention program based on a better understanding of mechanically induced degenerative diseases that result from overloading, such as osteoarthritis. Furthermore, this approach is used to evaluate the effect of different types of rehabilitation on ankle joint function and tissue structure after Achilles tendon rupture. This work allows for a more thorough understanding of the adaptations and functional changes in the muscle tendon unit that develop during the post-injury rehabilitative period.

Injuries caused specifically by running training are developed by the majority of all runners. This is caused by constant application of non-physiological loads that can lead to overstress in joints, tendons, ligaments and muscles. We investigate specific biomechanical parameters during running and their characteristic changes associated with typical running injuries or discomforts. Furthermore, we analyze how the loading conditions can be actively altered by targeted muscle training or changes in running technique. This research has evolved into a service available at our institute, which provides an analysis of running technique for runners and athletes (RunScan). The analysis reveals the cause for the injury and recommendations for individualized training and muscle strengthening are provided for the runner.

Running projects:

  • "Strength training in competitive youth sports [Krafttraining im Nachwuchsleistungssport (KINGS)]",  KINGS funded by Federal Ministry for Sport Sciences
  • "Adaptations in the muscle-tendon unit after Achilles tendon injury" contributions made possible by DFG funding through the Berlin-Brandenburg School of Regenerative Therapies GSC 203.
  • "Joint Research Project: Understanding and Prevention of primary Osteoarthritis progression (OVERLOAD-PrevOP) financed by Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Support Code 01 EC1408A"
  • "Analysis of individual running patterns for supportive treatment of injuries and disorders: for the prevention of further injuries and for running pattern optimization", Charité ethics commission EA2/077/15.

Clinical partners:

  • Dr. med. Ralf Doyscher, Department of Sports Medicine, Institute for Sports Science at the Humboldt Universität zu Berlin
  • Univ.-Prof. Dr. Carsten Perka, Medical Director, Center for Musculoskeletal Surgery, Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin
  • Univ.-Prof. Dr. Bernd Wolfarth, Department of Sports Medicine, Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin/Institute of Sports Science, Humboldt University of Berlin

Industry partners:

  • Evalu GmbH i.G., Garching, Germany
  • Novel GmbH, Munich, Germany

Scientific partners:

  • Prof. Dr. Urs Granacher, Head of the Division of Training and Movement Sciences, Universität Potsdam
  • Prof. Dr. Adamantios Arampatzis, Head of the Department of Training and Movement Sciences, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
  • Prof. Dr. Ralf Brand, Head of Sport and Exercise Psychology, Universität Potsdam
  • Prof. Dr. Holger Gabriel, University Professor for Sports Medicine and Health Promotion, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena
  • Prof. Dr. Albert Gollhofer, Head of Motor Function in Sports, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
  • Dr. Antje Hoffmann, Department of Competitive Youth Sports, Institut für Angewandte Trainingswissenschaft Leipzig
  • Prof. Dr. Wilfried Alt, Department of Biomechanics and Sports Biology, Universität Stuttgart

Other Partners:

  • State sports association of Berlin-Brandenburg (Landessportbünde) Olympic Team Training Center (Olympiastützpunkte)
  • Professional sports organizations: German Weightlifting Federation (Bundesverband Deutscher Gewichtheber), German Handball Association (Deutscher Handballbund), German Judo Federation (Deutscher Judo-Bund), German Gymnastics Federation (Deutscher Turner-Bund)
  • Sports-focused elementary schools: Sport-focused primary school of Cottbus, Zeppelin primary school Potsdam
  • Elite sports schools: Lausitzer sports school in Cottbus, Sports school of Frankfurt an der Oder, Secondary sports school (Gymnasium) of Jena "Johann Christoph Friedrich GutsMuths", Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn Secondary school (Oberschule) in Luckenwalde
  • Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport in Brandenburg



Dr.-Ing. Heide Boeth

Principal Investigator