Sports chiropractic is a specialty of chiropractic. It generally requires post-graduate coursework and a certification or diplomate status granted by a credentialing agency recognized in a practitioner's region. Assessment and diagnosis of sports-related injuries by a sports chiropractor involves a physical exam and sometimes imaging studies. Treatment is described as noninvasive and can include joint manipulations as well as recommendations for exercises designed to improve strength, flexibility and range of motion.
Training and credentialing
In Canada, a two-year post-graduate program and certification as a chiropractic sports specialist (CCSS) are offered by the Royal College of Chiropractic Sports Sciences. The U.S. equivalent is the Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician (CCSP), or the Diplomate of the American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physicians (DACBSP), a three-year post-doctoral program.
The International Federation of Sports Chiropractic (FICS) established the Internationally Certified Chiropractic Sports Practitioner (ICSSP) program in connection with Murdoch University, in Perth, Australia. Applicants can receive a certification through participation in a combination of online courses and seminars, and can receive credit for post-doctoral education programs. FICS coordinates with athletic associations to provide chiropractors for international sporting events.
Use by amateur and professional athletes
As of the 2014-2015 season, every NFL team had an official team chiropractor. In Major League Baseball, 30 teams have a team chiropractor. In 2006, a study analyzing Division I NCAA athletes at intercollegiate sporting events in Hawaii found that chiropractic usage within the last 12 months was reported by 39% of respondents.
Chiropractic sports medicine specialists first began treating Olympic athletes at the Olympic Games in Montreal in 1976, when Leroy Perry began working with the Aruban team. The first official appointment of a chiropractor to the US team was during the 1980 Winter Olympic Games in Lake Placid, New York when Stephen J. Press recommended George Goodheart to the chairman of the US Olympic Committee (USOC)'s Division of Sports Medicine. Subsequently, a program was developed to screen chiropractors for the USOTC in Colorado Springs, CO and chiropractors have been included with the US and other national teams since then. In 2000, Life University opened a 4500 sq. ft. chiropractic clinic in the Costa Rican Olympic Committee Compound to provide chiropractic services for athletes. The US team sent four chiropractors to Beijing for the 2008 Olympic games, where Mike Reed served the U.S. team as a treating chiropractor and also as the chiropractic medical director of the Performance Services Division of the USOC. Chiropractors were included on the US medical team again for the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games, where Michael Reed acted as the external medical director for the USOC, and oversaw the USOC volunteer medical program and the USOC Sports Medicine Network. Chiropractic care was arranged by the British Chiropractic Association and integrated into the treatment of athletes for a polyclinic during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. At the 2012 Summer Games in London, the USOC brought eight chiropractors in addition to the full-time paid medical director, William Moreau.
- International Federation of Sports Chiropractic or Fédération Internationale de Chiropratique du Sport (FICS)
- International Association of Olympic Chiropractic Officers
- Royal College of Chiropractic Sport Sciences of Canada - RCCSS(C)
- "Continuing Education - Certificate for a Chiropractic Sports Physician 2009 - CCSP Program". Parker College of Chiropractic. Archived from the original on October 12, 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-19.
- Press, DC, PhD, Stephen J. (2012). The History of Sports Chiropractic (Ass'n for the History of Chiropractic ed.). USA: C.I.S. Commercial Fin. Grp, Ltd. p. 495. ISBN 9781105536830.
- John L. Stump DC, OMD, EdD; Daniel Redwood DC (March 2002). "The use and role of sport chiropractors in the National Football League: A short report". Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. 25: 1–4. doi:10.1067/mmt.2002.122326. [Curiously, the article referenced is from 2002, and states that 31% of NFL teams have an official team chiropractor, not the 100% claimed. Perhaps this has changed since 2002, but the reference does not support the claim.
- "Major League Chiropractors". Professional Baseball Chiropractic Society. Retrieved 2016-04-06.
- Nichols AW; Harrigan R. (2006). "Complementary and alternative medicine usage by intercollegiate athletes.". Clin J Sport Med. 16 (16(3)): 232–7. ISSN 1536-3724. PMID 16778544.
- Proceedings of the United States Olympic Academy XI, "The Role of the Chiropractic Physician in the Sports Medical Team", June 17–20, 1987, Indianapolis, IN, Pgs 246-252
- Medhat Alaftar, MD,DC (31 May 1999). "Building the Foundation for Chiropractic in Costa Rica".
- "Gold members". International Academy of Olympic Chiropractic Officers. Retrieved 2009-11-26.
- "Doctors of Chiropractic Appointed to U.S. Olympic Medical Team". Reuters. Retrieved 2016-04-06.
- "Olympic Chiropractor Interview with Michael Reed, DC, DACBSP". Health Insights Today. Retrieved 2016-04-06.
- "World Federation of Chiropractic Quarterly Report" (PDF). World Federation of Chiropractic. Retrieved 2016-04-06.
- "FICS Newsletter" (PDF). Federation Internationale de Chiropratique du Sport. March 31, 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-19.[dead link]
- Vancouver Organizing Committee. "2010 Winter Olympics Games Business Plan and Games Budget" (PDF). p. 151. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 30, 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-19.