Sports medicine involves the diagnosis and management of acute and chronic sports related injury/pathology plus advice and therapies to prevent or reduce the risk of injury whilst playing/partaking in a sporting activity. If you are practising a sport either competitively or for pleasure, your most valuable tool is your body. To be able to perform well, you need to be in peak condition.

The Sports Medicine Team at SMC understand that when an injury occurs, the time off from training or competing to allow healing can be extremely frustrating.  As such, their primary aim is to get you fit and back on top form as quickly as possible. Our teams integrated approach is focused on regaining full functionality and keeping you there, thus allowing you to concentrate on your performance.

How do Sports Injuries Occur?

Sporting injuries are specifically those which occur to athletes/sportspeople whilst undertaking or training for a sporting activity. In many cases, these injuries are  caused by the overuse of one particular part of the body. For example, “runner’s knee” is a painful condition associated with sports involving running, whilst tennis elbow is a form of repetitive strain injury (which ironically does not often occur in tennis players!). Other injuries can be as a result of direct trauma or forceful contact during competitive sport which leads to either a broken bone, torn/damaged ligaments, or tendons and muscular injuries/tears.

Whatever the injury, it is important that the medical team make the correct diagnosis, determine the best treatment plan and ensure that you achieve full recovery and return to fitness as rapidly as possible.

Diagnosis and Investigation of Injuries

Whenever an injury occurs, the first step is to obtain a quick and accurate diagnosis. Our Sports Injury Physician will need to complete a thorough examination (which may include an ultrasound scan) of the injured area in order to reach a diagnosis.  Sometimes additional tests are necessary before a diagnosis can be made.

Sporting injuries can be broadly classified as traumatic or overuse injuries.

Traumatic injuries account for most injuries sustained during contact sports such as Football, Rugby, Horse Riding and Martial Arts because of the dynamic and high collision nature of these sports. These injuries range from bruises (damage to small blood vessels which causes bleeding within the tissues) and muscle strains (small tears to the muscle fibres) which result in inflammation within the area of injury, to fractures and head injuries.

Overuse injuries tend to result in subtle pain or vague symptoms which develop over time. These often begin as a small, nagging ache or pain which grows into a debilitating injury if not recognised and treated early. These injuries most often result from repetitive use, stress and trauma to the body’s tissues (muscles, tendons, bones and joints) with the athlete not allowing enough time between training sessions to the body to heal correctly.

There are several factors which can contribute to an overuse sport injury.  These include doing sports with repetitive similar movements (running, rowing, cycling, jumping) doing too much too soon after an injury, overtraining without sufficient rest, repeating the same training method, and returning too quickly from an injury.

Treatment of Sports Injuries

Treatment of sporting injuries depends on the type and severity of the injury.  The treatment will either be conservative, interventional or surgical.

Conservative treatment could be as simple as the prescribing of rest and icing of the affected area but may require anti-inflammatory pain-killers or possibly involve a referral to one of our physiotherapy specialists.

Interventional treatments may be required if an injury has reached a stage where the specialist feels that conservative treatment alone will not repair the damage. The choice of interventional treatment will depend on the injury sustained but could involve ultrasound-guided dry needling, steroid injection,  PRP treatment or possibly gait manipulation prosthetics provided by our podiatrist.

Surgical intervention is sometimes necessary to properly treat a sporting injury.  Obviously major bone fractures and some tendon/ligament tears may need surgical treatment. Within our team such surgery will normally be performed by one of our orthopaedic surgeons: Marius Negru, Andy Fowler or Thomas Boerger.

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Your Specialists

Passion fuels my journey as a Physiotherapist, I am dedicated to delivering exceptional high value patient centered care and results-driven treatment. Through patient education, advice, empowerment and active participation in the treatment process, I ensure that every step of your treatment leads you towards your optimal health and well-being. "

Nicole Norton


Areas of expertise

Unique fusion of two specialties, combining, functional assessment, through movement analysis, therapeutic exercises, manual therapy and modalities. Restoring a patients optimal functionality, regaining their power of movement and contributing to the enhancement of sporting performance.

Education and professional training

BSc in Sports Therapy at the University of Central Lancashire, where she achieved a 1st Class Honours and further Postgraduate MSc in Physiotherapy.

Professional Qualifications, Associations & Accomplishments

BSc Hons Sports Therapy. MSc Physiotherapy. Advanced Dry Needling and Medical Acupuncture. Level 4 Sports Massage and Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Massage. Kinesio Taping and Sports Strapping. Elite Athlete Surgery Recovery Management. Level 3 Sports First Aid.

Professional experience

HCPC Registered Physiotherapist and Gibraltar Medical Board Certified. Physiotherapist for Gibraltar Rugby, Cricket and Gibraltar Football Association. Extensive experience in several Semi-Professional and Elite Sports Clubs in UK. Physiotherapist experience in Major Trauma, Orthopaedics and MSK Outpatient’s.

Languages spoken

English and Spanish


Field Hockey, Elite Athlete Performance Enhancement and Acute Sports Trauma and Care