Welcome to the Medicine & Performance hub!

The hub hosts an array of information for the grassroots community.


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Jordan Henderson 2020 ankle injury PA-56303046

Sprains and strains

Sprains and strains are common injuries affecting the muscles and ligaments. Most can be treated at home without seeing a GP.

Check if you have a sprain or strain

It’s likely to be a sprain or strain if:

  • you have pain, tenderness or weakness – often around your ankle, foot, wrist, thumb, knee, leg or back
  • the injured area is swollen or bruised
  • you cannot put weight on the injury or use it normally
  • you have muscle spasms or cramping – where your muscles painfully tighten on their own

How to treat sprains and strains yourself

For the first couple of days, follow the 4 steps known as RICE therapy to help bring down swelling and support the injury:

1. Rest – stop any exercise or activities and try not to put any weight on the injury.

2. Ice – apply an ice pack (or a bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a tea towel) to the injury for up to 20 minutes every 2 to 3 hours.

3. Compression – wrap a bandage around the injury to support it.

4. Elevate – keep it raised on a pillow as much as possible.

To help prevent swelling, try to avoid heat (such as hot baths and heat packs), alcohol and massages for the first couple of days.

When you can move the injured area without pain stopping you, try to keep moving it so the joint or muscle does not become stiff.

A pharmacist can help with sprains and strains

Speak to a pharmacist about the best treatment for you. They might suggest tablets, or a cream or gel you rub on the skin.

Painkillers like paracetamol will ease the pain and ibuprofen will bring down swelling.

But you should not take ibuprofen for 48 hours after your injury as it may slow down healing.

How long it takes for a sprain or strain to heal

After 2 weeks, most sprains and strains will feel better.

Avoid strenuous exercise such as running for up to 8 weeks, as there’s a risk of further damage.

Severe sprains and strains can take months to get back to normal.

You cannot always prevent sprains and strains

Sprains and strains happen when you overstretch or twist a muscle.

Not warming up before exercising, tired muscles and playing sport are common causes.


Get advice from 111 now if:

  • the injury is not feeling any better after treating it yourself
  • the pain or swelling is getting worse
  • you also have a very high temperature or feel hot and shivery – this could be an infection

111 will tell you what to do. They can tell you the right place to get help if you need to see someone.

Go to or call 111.


Treatment at a minor injuries unit

You may be given self care advice or prescribed a stronger painkiller.

If you need an X-ray, it might be possible to have one at the unit, or you may be referred to hospital.

Physiotherapy for sprains and strains

If you have a sprain or strain that’s taking longer than usual to get better, your GP may be able to refer you to a physiotherapist.

Physiotherapy from the NHS might not be available everywhere and waiting times can be long. You can also get it privately.


Go to A&E or call 999 if:

  • you heard a crack when you had your injury
  • the injured body part has changed shape
  • the injury is numb, discoloured or cold to touch

You may have broken a bone and will need an X-ray.




Find a private practitioner with experience working in professional football or elite sport on the FMPA Register

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Physiotherapist Nick Worth offers his advice on maintaining football fitness

Maintaining Football fitness during the Corona Virus home isolation

Whilst you are stuck at home listening to regular updates about when (or if) the season is going to be concluded, keeping fit is vital.

But how can you keep match fit whilst at home?

There are a lot of You Tube or Social media clips doing the rounds – or reports of Premier League players all being issued with Watt bikes to use. The use of wearable technology such as GPS that can be monitored by their Sports Science teams is great – but how can I achieve the same aims without the expensive kit?

There are a few simple tips that may be of help:

  • Warming up and cooling down may feel a bit of chore when you are at training with a coach barking instructions, but its essential to prevent injuries when working out at home. Take time to raise your heart rate for a few minutes to start with and stretch where you can. It all helps.
  • Exercise is very specific. Whilst there is some carry over between types of exercise, primarily, if you spend hours on a Watt bike – you will become very good…on the Watt bike! This is great for cardiovascular fitness but only a little help for a football fitness. The same applies to pumping weights.
  • Wherever possible (taking social distancing into account) get out and run. Not necessarily just pounding the streets but try and include movements and loads similar to playing such as shuttle runs or multi-directional sprints. This will maintain the tensile strength in muscles and tendons which may prevent injuries when you return to training.
  • When doing any resistance training, try and use activities that mimic football type movements. This may be kettle bell work, theraband work or plyometrics. Vary the speed or repetitions as opposed to just doing ‘3 sets of 10’ of everything! Often working to fatigue is a good way of setting yourself challenges – but make sure that you keep the movements under control when you’re getting tired. Poor ‘form’ doing an exercise is a frequent cause of injury.
  • Don’t underestimate the mental aspect of being unable to train normally. Your body is used to being physically challenged regularly and this has an effect on your mental wellbeing. Take time to find techniques for positive mental health. This may be time just walking alone, listening to music, reading a book or working up a sweat doing your home training to keep you on an even keel. Understand that this is a different time for all of us, so take care of those around you who may be having a tough day. Supporting others can be a great way to boost your own feelings of mental wellbeing.
  • Take the time to focus on any ‘key’ areas you need to work on. Maybe you have had a niggling injury that just won’t go away? For example, if you often get calf strains during a season, then try and work out a rehab plan that addresses those areas of weakness.

The best way of keeping fit and preventing injuries is to be training fully. As you are unable to at the present time, there will be the need to do some football specific training prior to the season being completed (or not!). Returning to match play without adequate fitness will drastically increase your risk of injury when you return.

Don’t worry though – all those hours you spend now targeting your fitness will all be ‘in the bank’ when football returns.

Doing regular smaller sessions will help pass the time and allow you to focus on your quality of movement and rehab.

Stay safe!

Nick Worth

Get in touch with Nick via his FMPA Register profile page

A cyclist exercises in Alexandra Palace, North London as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the virus.

Osteopath Faz Page advises to remain mobile

Faz Page says it is important to keep mobile and offers some advice on ways to keep fit and active during the lockdown…

  • Mini gym’s are great – make use of yours if you have one in your home
  • Static bikes are good for workouts
  • Go for a run outdoors – maintaining social distancing
  • Stay flexible – get involved in some form of Yoga, which is great for stretching. There are plenty of apps available to download.

Faz is more than happy to discuss any concerns over the phone and can be contacted via his listing on the FMPA Register. View profile page

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The battle for players to keep fit during the Coronavirus pandemic

Former Liverpool physio and FMPA member Andy Renshaw talks to reporter David Lynch at the Evening Standard regarding the best way of preventing injuries during prolonged time away from regular activity. Read article

Andy Renshaw is listed on the FMPA Register. View profile page


Looking after our mental health during Covid-19 outbreak

Consultant Sport Psychiatrist, Dr Tim Rogers has put together some advice that might help with our #mentalhealth during the #coronavirus #COVID2019 period.

Social distancing prevents infections, but social isolation can significantly increase the risk of other health problems, both physical and mental. What can we do?

Being connected to others in a supportive community does more than just help us feel better, it buffers the biological effects of stress hormones/pressure. It’s still possible 2 experience the same sense of community and the same mental health benefit digitally @BigWhiteWall1

Take a moment to pause, step back and look after how you’re feeling during such an unprecedented time.  Here are some suggestions:

24hr news cycles mean we miss nothing.  The trouble is, worry and anxiety become unhealthy when “what if” thoughts multiply and fill our thinking space with scary things all day.  This is tiring. Set aside 10m each day to get up to date, then switch/log off until tomorrow’s 10m.

A little worry is helpful if it nudges us to plan our way through difficult moments.  The news also contains many examples of clever problem solving and, often, trusted sources of advice.  Once you’ve done all you can, remind yourself that this is enough.

Give yourself permission to focus on something else: a to-do list for today.  Any more worry about what might or might not happen in the future cannot be helpful for you or for others.

There are lots of ways to help you get back into the moment right now, whether free mindfulness resources online, or anything else that pulls your focus into present.  Is there something you can take the opportunity to get done?

Think about what you post online.  Share stories of coping, share care and support and share the things that have helped you.

10000 steps might not be possible for now but movement is still medicine.  Put the FitBit down and set yourself a goal to find the best ways of being active for your own situation.  Any activity-however little-helps your mental health. Try to find something fun for each day.

Self-isolation need not mean social isolation.  It’s so easy to forget to reach out and connect.  One of the benefits of our era of tech is how easily we can now do this from our phones, tablets and computers.  Giving support can be just as beneficial as receiving it.

It’s OK not to be OK in how you’re feeling, whether or not it has anything to do with corona. Mental health services @Cognacity or elsewhere, nationwide, are working safely in different ways but we are still here to support you if you need it: reach out in the normal way.

Dr Tim Rogers is listed on the FMPA Register. Anyone looking to get in touch with Tim can contact him via his profile page

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Dr Anwar Shea is a highly qualified and experienced counsellor/psychologist. Dr Shea has supplied the following information to help give a better understanding: What is therapy and how does it work…


Therapy offers an opportunity for people to explore, with a therapist in a confidential setting, any problems or painful areas in their lives.

Most of us experience times when we find it difficult to cope, and we need the support and understanding of someone who is impartial and non judgemental i.e. therapy.  Therapy offers us time to explore our problems with someone we can trust who hopefully can help us to achieve deeper and clearer understanding of ourselves and the nature of our distress. This will often lead to a new perspective on our lives, which will eventually help us make changes and choices accordingly.

Dr Shea is available to contact via the FMPA Register. You can access her profile page here 

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Welcome to the Mike Clegg podcast – on this podcast Mick welcomes Eammon Salmon, the CEO of the Football Medical and Performance Association.

Mr Salmon is a former Premiership Physiotherapist and Private Practitioner, that now runs the FMPA, an association that provides support for current medical and fitness professionals within sport.

Eammon was the physiotherapist at Manchester City Football Club for three years, and previous to that was at Plymouth Argyle!

Sit back, relax and enjoy the podcast. CLICK HERE TO WATCH

Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane leaves the field with an ankle injury during the Emirates FA Cup, Quarter Final match at White Hart Lane, London.

Rehabilitation of Ankle Injuries in Football

The ankle is one of the most common sites of injury in football, with a large percentage of those suffering an initial injury likely to have a recurrence. There remains a lot of debate regarding the best way of managing these injuries, along with the most effective testing methods that lead to minimising injury recurrence once a player has returned to training and competition.

This article has been supplied by former Liverpool FC Physiotherapist Andy Renshaw. Read the full article here

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A hugely popular initiative putting grassroots football in touch with the very best in the professional game.

Our register of practitioners have experience working in professional football with clubs and national teams, such as Manchester City FC, Chelsea FC, Norwich City FC, Leeds United FC and Arsenal FC to name just a few…(read more)

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Watch: 'My period was so bad I had to come off'

Glasgow City’s Sam Kerr and Hibernian’s Jamie-Lee Napier talk about the effect periods have on their football career.


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Female athletes are two to eights times more likely to rupture their anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) than men when using the same rules and equipment.

Read the full article here

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I Told Sir Alex Ferguson No… – David Fevre!

Mike Clegg’s podcast guest is David Fevre, David used to be the Physiotherapist of Wigan Rugby League, Great Britain Rugby League, the Senior Chartered Physiotherapist of Manchester United, as well as Blackburn Rovers and is now a freelance Chartered Physiotherapist!

David Fevre made the move from Rugby League to Football and explains the differences, the similarities and shares his stories whilst working with people such as Sir Alex, Roy Keane, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Eric Cantona, David Beckham and so on!

Sit back and enjoy this podcast. CLICK HERE TO WATCH.

#SirAlexFerguson #Podcast #ManchesterUnited



Kick It Out is English football’s equality and inclusion organisation.

Kick It Out has a number of methods by which you can report incidents of discrimination in football – whether it’s involving a grassroots, non-league or professional game, as well as online abuse.

Report to Kick It Out using the methods shown here