Patrick Bick is one of the leading osteopaths in Leipzig and has maintained contact with the Leipzig Institute of Anatomy for many years. The desire to heal people runs in the family. Bick’s father was a nurse. However, Patrick initially took a completely different path. Soccer crazy as he was, he dreamed of it as professional career, and he nearly managed to make this dream come true! After several stations, starting with 1 FC Saarbrücken, Patrick Bick moved up to the 2nd Bundesliga with Eintracht Braunschweig in the 2004/2005 season and scored eight goals in the very first season. After a longer break due to injury, he switched to SV Wehen Wiesbaden, who had also moved up to the 2nd Bundesliga. The next stop was Leipzig, more precisely Markranstädt. Supported by a well-known Austrian beverage manufacturer, a new football club was founded there. The beginning of a very special adventure.
»In the first few weeks, there was a lot of chaos. Of course, we had the ambition to quickly rise to the top league with the newly founded club, but for this to happen, structures are needed that must first grow. Certain processes that you can’t imagine being without after 15 years in professional football. And then we came across a training pitch that had been treated with weedkiller shortly before and was not playable. So we played on artificial turf, with a hodgepodge of balls, none of which were properly inflated. But as time went by, everything got better. What Andreas Sadlo, the first club president, and sports director Joachim Krug have achieved in these months is madness«. At SSV Markranstädt, Patrick Bick ended his playing career in 2013 and became head of physiotherapy at his old club Eintracht Braunschweig, which had meanwhile established itself in the 1st Bundesliga. From 2015 to 2017 he was head of physiotherapy at RB Leipzig. Today he practices as an osteopath at Gustav-Adolf-Straße 19b in Leipzig.
»My father always insisted that I learn something proper before I really start playing professional football. So I trained as a physiotherapist alongside my training. I am very grateful to him for this, because with this background I could think freely in the football circus. I always knew: If things don’t go well on the pitch, I can work as a therapist. It was always clear to me that I would not retire at sixty as a professional footballer.« While his teammates watched movies on the road to away games, Patrick Bick often read an anatomy book. This earned him the nickname of Professor. »In addition to my professional career, I trained as a non-medical practitioner so that I could later practice osteopathy«
Education, football, alternative practitioners – it was not always easy to bring everything under one roof. »During my professional career I often felt that something was missing. Today I know that it was a gain. My experiences as a professional footballer have broadened my horizons immensely, because I not only had the theoretical part, but also the practical work with the athletes. I still enjoy this work a lot, but it does not fill me out as a therapist. With my own practice I was able to broaden my horizon considerably. This in turn benefits the athletes among my patients.«
Osteopathy is based on three pillars: parietal osteopathy, which deals with connective tissue, muscles and joints, visceral osteopathy, which focuses on the internal organs, and craniosacral osteopathy, which works with the inherent »rhythms« of the organism. This third pillar is controversial, as many therapeutic approaches are based on empirical knowledge and cannot be scientifically verified – or fail to stand up to such verification. »As a therapist I often have the feeling that I can make a difference, but I don’t know exactly why. A connection is subjectively there, but not yet scientifically proven. The contact with Prof. Bechmann and Dr. Steinke was therefore a win in the lottery for me. The two are fantastic people with inexhaustible knowledge and a great openness. With them I can think laterally and philosophize, which is often neglected in everyday practice. When I talk to a doctor, I always start out as a physiotherapist. If I then notice that my counterpart is a bit more open, I am a non-medical practitioner. With Prof. Bechmann and Dr. Steinke I had the feeling for the first time that I can say that I am an osteopath.«
The two anatomists and Patrick Bick regularly exchange observations and new scientific findings. The subject of fasciae is always in the centre of attention. »For us osteopaths, fasciae are nothing new. During our training we learn to pull and sense fascias. One can imagine fascias like an elastic band. If you can pull it, everything is good. If there is a knot somewhere, you can feel it. We know what healthy tissue feels like and on this basis we can tell relatively reliably where a pathology is. Fasciae consist of 90 percent water, they are a breath, a nothing, and yet they have this meaning. There is a lot of research to be done.«
Since 2020, Patrick Bick will offer a new course of study for prospective osteopaths at the school »Alles Osteopathie«. »For me, the scientific aspect is most important. I want to impart knowledge to the students that is secured by studies. I want to be able to prove it! Of course there is still one area that we – as things stand today – cannot explain properly, but it will be very small. Otherwise osteopathy, as I understand it, is based on information that is scientifically proven.« The school »Alles Osteopathie« stands for a modern osteopathic education that meets today’s requirements. »Our founding fathers did not have the background information that we have now. Nevertheless, osteopathy is not taught any differently today than fifty years ago. I think this is no longer up to date. We want to find out what is contemporary, work it out and push it forward with the new course of studies. Then we will be able to make the therapies a bit better and more effective.«