Sportmedizin Ulm through the eyes of a Hungarian 

According to the cooperation between the University of Physical Education in Budapest and the Division of Sports and Rehabilitation at the University of Ulm I could spend more than a year traineeship at the Clinic in Germany. Professor Jürgen Steinacker, medical head of this Institute, is a doctor honoris causa of the University of Physical Education in Budapest (2012), fosters extensive connections with the Hungarian Rowing Association and the Hungarian Olympic Committee. As a result of the cooperation, the two Institutes have been working together in several scientific projects in the field of spiroergometry and high resolution molecular analysis. As part of this collaboration and with the support of my university and my Supervisor, Professor Miklós Tóth, I had the opportunity as a PhD student to have a glance into a life of a West European Institute and to get to know a different style during my traineeship.

The Division of Sports and Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Ulm is the official Research and Training Center of Baden-Württemberg and of the German Olympic Sports Confederation. Accordingly, it fosters the sports medical and exercise physiological function of the national athletes in the province. For instance, the medical and sports scientist team of the Division provides the medical and scientific background for the German National Scull Team, the German U19 Rowing Team, for national and elite level athletes in fencing, football, swimming, track and field and wrestling in Baden-Württemberg.

I could develop my practical knowledge through the various sports-specific on-field tests, for example lactate measuring, evaluation, test organizing, body composition test, diagnostic testing of spirometry. I could also have a look at the organization of sports events in the city, in parallel with sports medical and exercise physiological guidance, which was guaranteed by the Institute.

The Division of Sports and Rehabilitation Medicine possess a molecular biological laboratory as well, so I had the opportunity to get to know some immune analytical methodologies, such as ELISA and Western blot. To be an assistant by numerous muscle biopsies was another interesting experience for me. 

I could improve general and also specific treatments during the time at the Sports Medicine Ambulance. I acquired here basic treatments of sports cardiology especially by patients with heart failure or cancer. Furthermore, to get to know and to be part of the actual scientific studies meant a specific part of my experiences, such as the Overtraining Syndrome; the Capture study, in which patients with breast cancer are examined and specific trainings program is offered for them; the BIJOU study in which sports as tumor preventive effect is examined in patients with BRCA gene mutation; the EINSTEIN study, in which the effect of sports exercise is examined on the metabolism in the skeletal muscles in patients with neurodegenerative diseases, such as Huntington´s disease and ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). And also the LEILA study, as a part of my doctoral thesis, in which the effect of regular physical activity is examined on the sports performance and the quality of life in patients after renal transplantation.   

The Sports Rehabilitation is a special part of the Division. The patients, treated here, are suffering from heart failure or cancer, having pulmonary indications or suffering from metabolism disorders. The Division offers trainings and treatments 5 times a day from Monday till Friday. During these trainings patients can learn about their diseases, how to go back to social life and to work, how to be developed their health status and quality of life. Furthermore, they are informed about emergency caring, the methods of reducing risk factors, in particular with their illness, the technique of self-examination, relaxation therapies and body mind and sensation.

I also had the opportunity to have a look at sports therapy for patients with cancer at the Clinic of Internal Medicine III., Comprehensive Cancer Center Ulm (CCCU). Individual sports therapies are provided for patients with cancer in the acute phase. Sport scientists from the Division of Sport and Rehabilitation Medicine provide these therapies, which consist of coordination, body mind and body feelings improving exercises, respectively a new training method, that has been innovated in Germany. Life Kinetik is a cognitive technique, designed to improve the brain´s physical, cognitive and perceptual skills through series of exercises.  The complex training technique has a coordinative, cognitive and visual effect at the same time.


The river Danube, just like in Budapest, runs across the city, which gives an excellent opportunity to practice rowing. This sport appears as a caring program for patients during aftercare. The Division of Sport and Rehabilitation Medicine offers 2 times a week rowing training for patients with cancer during the follow-up, where I could also take part as a trainer since September, 2015. “Rudern gegen Krebs” is a charity Regatta program in order to raise awareness and funds to further research against cancer. This charity regatta is organized once a year in several cities all over Germany, also in Ulm.

During this one-year traineeship I have gained a lot of practical experiences in the field of modern sports science and sports rehabilitation. I really hope that we can maintain this well-functioning and beneficial cooperation between the two institutes and not only the professional but the human connections stay alive.


Emese Trajer 


Universitätsklinikum Ulm

Sektion Sport- und Rehabilitationsmedizin


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