Sports Injury Rehabilitation and Prevention for Health (SIRPH)

The SIRPH Research Unit studies the rehabilitation and prevention of musculoskeletal injuries and pain that interfere with physical activity and sports participation – emphasising wellness and health.

Mission statement

Enabling healthy participation in sport and physical activity through research and community engagement with rehabilitation and prevention of musculoskeletal injuries. 

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Key research activities

Running womanIn the SIRPH group, we investigate tendon, ligament, joint and muscle injuries to see what happens to the body when these structures get injured and how they can lead to tendinopathies, osteoarthritis and decreased participation in physical activity.

We research treatments such as exercise, manual therapy, taping and orthotics to see how we can best help people return to their regular activity.

We also investigate how we can use exercise, taping and orthotics to prevent injuries from occurring or from getting worse.

Our research involves people of all ages, from kids to older adults. 

  • Management of anterior knee pain
  • Managing tendinopathy
  • Preventing and managing chronic ankle instability and ankle osteoarthritis
  • Injury prevention and optimal physical activity participation
  • Return to sport and participation guidelines
  • Exercise and education for lower limb osteoarthritis
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Our people


Bill VicenzinoProfessor Bill Vicenzino
Professor in Physiotherapy
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences

Michelle SmithAssociate Professor Michelle Smith
Associate Professor in Physiotherapy
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences

Group members

Natalie CollinsDr Natalie Collins
Senior Lecturer in Physiotherapy
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences

Viana VuvanDr Viana Vuvan
Lecturer in Physiotherapy
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences

Manuela BesomiDr Manuela Besomi
Post-doctoral Research Fellow 
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences

Dr Peter LawrensonDr Peter Lawrenson 
Honorary Lecturer
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences

Dr Melinda SmithDr Melinda Smith 
Honorary Research Fellow
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences

Current Research Higher Degree candidates 

CandidateDegreeSupervisor/sProject Title/Description
Sultan AlanaziPhDMichelle Smith
Bill Vicenzino
Improving research outcome and management of ankle osteoarthritis: Development of a Core Domain Set
Yousef AlyousefPhDMichelle Smith
Venerina Johnston
The use of standing workstations in relation to low back pain and other musculoskeletal conditions in office workers
Lori FornerPhDMichelle Smith
Emma Beckman
Paul Hodges
Towards better understanding and management of pelvic floor disorders in women engaged in high intensity exercise: The effects of strenuous exercise and vaginal pessaries on pelvic organ descent in females
Marguerite KingPhDBill Vicenzino
Kate Watson
Wearable sensor informed activity workloads and quantified return to play following upper limb injury in elite female waterpolo
Isobel O’SullivanPhDNatalie Collins
Bill Vicenzino
Exploring foot characteristics and treatments in adolescents with patellofemoral pain
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Projects for interested Research Higher Degree candidates

Project title and descriptionContact
Improving management and interrupting the sequela of ankle injuries across the lifespan
  • Prevention and management of ankle sprains and fractures in children, adolescents and young adults
  • Early detection and management of ankle osteoarthritis
Dr Michelle Smith
Improving return to sport success for athletes with lateral ankle sprains
  • Establishing return to sport criteria for athletes who have sustained a lateral ankle sprain
Dr Michelle Smith
Preventing and managing sports injuries in adolescent athletes
  • Improving the implementation and effectiveness of injury prevention programs in sport
  • The presentation and management of apophysitis (growth plate injuries; e.g., Osgood-Schlatter disease) in active adolescents
Dr Michelle Smith
Measures of physical workload in children and adolescents
  • Identifying methods of measuring physical workload in children and adolescents.
  • Improving implementation of these tools to interpret workload in active adolescents to maximise performance and reduce the risk of injury.
Dr Natalie Collins 
Dr Manuela Besomi
Preventing and managing running-related injuries across the lifespan
  • Understanding physical, psychological and behavioural factors related to running injuries
  • Improving the implementation and effectiveness of injury prevention programs in running
Dr Manuela Besomi



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Research projects currently recruiting participants

We are currently seeking participants to take part in research studies.

ProjectGet in touch to learn more

Ed-Ex Ankle Arthritis Program: Treatment of ankle arthritis

Volunteers with ankle arthritis will participate in an education program or a combined education and exercise program. This project will compare these treatments to determine how they affect symptoms and function in people with ankle arthritis.

Learn more about this project and register your interest

Dr Michelle Smith
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Partners and collaborators

  • Professor Eamonn Delahunt, University College Dublin, Ireland
  • Professor Erik Wikstrom, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA
  • Dr Christiaan van Bergen, Amphia Hospital, The Netherlands
  • Professor Yvonne Golightly, University of Nebraska Medical Center, USA
  • Dr Bruno Tassignon, Vrije University Brussels, Belgium
  • Professor David Hunter, University of Sydney, Australia
  • Professor Hylton Menz, Latrobe University, Australia
  • Professor Michael Rathleff, Aalborg University, Denmark
  • Professor Kay Crossley, Latrobe University, Australia
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To contact the Sports Injuries Rehabilitation and Prevention for Health (SIRPH) please email


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Get in touch