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Career Spotlight: Sports Chiropractor

21 MAR 2014
Career Path : Chiropractic

Athletics are a notoriously rigorous, rough and regularly painful line of work, and professional athletes more often than not will suffer at least one significant injury in their career. Injuries to the back and spine are some of the most common, and the right treatment or intervention can make the difference between a quick recovery and the end of a career. Many of these injuries can be easily prevented and mitigated with a vitalistic approach to health care. Sports chiropractors are becoming increasingly popular for their ability to provide effective adjustments as well as strategies and restorations for preventative care.

A Long History

Sports chiropractors have been around for quite some time, with chiropractic care being offered to Olympic athletes as far back as 1968, with the team from Aruba at the Olympic Games in Mexico City. The first official appointment of a chiropractor for the U.S. team came in 1980 at the Lake Placid Olympic Games. In 2010, chiropractic was fully integrated into athletic treatment in the “polyclinic” offered to athletes at the Winter Olympics games in Vancouver.

Aside from the official adoption of sports chiropractic in the Olympics, sports chiropractors have had steady work providing their services to college sports teams, professional sports leagues and even high school sports teams. The benefits of sports chiropractic simply can’t be overlooked. The NFL, for example, disclosed in 2002 that about 30% of their teams have a chiropractor on staff.

Duties of a Sports Chiropractor

Sports chiropractors predominantly focus on providing care in the prevention management, rehabilitation, repair and management of the neuromusculoskeletal system for athletes and athletically focused people. They either have their own sports chiropractic clinic or are employed by one, or in some occasions are hired directly by a sports team to act as the team’s chiropractic care practitioner. Sports chiropractors provide essential chiropractic careto athletes – both preventative and post-injury –to ensure the proper management of their health and promoting the body’s natural ability to self-regulate and heal.

Chiropractors are highly valued for giving athletes various tips for preventing injuries, as well as providing information on what injuries can occur with improper movement or lack of attention to safety.

One of the biggest injury concerns in athletics is spinal injury. As such, a major concern of sports chiropractors is the prevention of spinal injuries through proper chiropractic care and exercise, as well as the management of spinal injuries when they do occur.


Certification procedures for practicing sports chiropractic differ throughout the world. In the United States, besides attending an excellent chiropractor college, prospective chiropractors may become certified as either a Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician (CCSP), or by the Diplomate of the American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physicians (DABCSP), which is a three-year post-doctoral program.


Visit Sherman College of Chiropractic for more information about chiropractor college.