Touchline Care

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11 Lessons

There are a variety of relatively minor complaints that commonly occur on the touchline – or present in the dressing room – which are not considered in the other modules in this course. These conditions include the management of blisters, muscle cramps and minor bleeding. While quite minor, each of these problems can cause significant morbidity and prevent a player from reaching their potential or participating in the game they love.

Conditions involving the eye, ear and nose are also considered in this module. These injuries can be more significant and need specialist care. The definitive management of many of these conditions is beyond the scope of this course. It is, however, important to have an awareness of some of the potential complications associated with each and to be able to refer affected players for a further assessment.

In this module, we will consider how a range of more “minor” medical issues can be managed and consider how a clinician might be able to allow a player to continue to safely participate in football training and matches.

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Learning outcomes

After studying this topic, you should:

  • be able to identify and manage common conditions which present during football matches or in the dressing room;
  • be able to manage minor bleeding on the touchline;
  • have an understanding of the causes of, and treatment options for, dysmenorrhoea and be able to prescribe these appropriately;
  • understand how to manage minor injuries and complaints involving the ear, eye and nose;
  • understand when to refer injuries to the ear, eye and nose for a specialist opinion.


  • Review the media content and read the provided text
  • Read the “required” articles
  • Complete the case-based assessment task

Suggested reading

Brukner and Khan’s
Clinical Sports Medicine 4th Edition
Chapter 4 (pages 15-24) and Chapter 19 (pages 300-312)


  1. O’Connell K, Posthumus M, Schwellnus MP, Collins M. Collagen genes and exercise-associated muscle cramping. Clin J Sport Med. 2013;23(1):64-69.
  2. Schwellnus MP. Cause of exercise associated muscle cramps (EAMC)–altered neuromuscular control, dehydration or electrolyte depletion? Br J Sports Med. 2009;43(6):401-408.
  3. Lewis PB, Ruby D, Bush-Joseph CA. Muscle soreness and delayed-onset muscle soreness. Clin Sports Med. 2012;31(2):255-262.
  4. Machado AF, Ferreira PH, Micheletti JK, et al. Can water temperature and immersion time influence the effect of cold water immersion on muscle soreness? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Sports Med. 2016;46(4):503-514.
  5. Patil PD, Panchabhai TS, Galwankar SC. Managing human bites. J Emerg Trauma Shock. 2009;2(3):186-190.
  6. Proctor M, Farquhar C. Diagnosis and management of dysmenorrhoea. BMJ. 2006;332(7550):1134-1138.
  7. Burrows M, Peters CE. The influence of oral contraceptives on athletic performance in female athletes. Sports Med. 2007;37(7):557-574.