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Appropriatness of Chiropractor on sidelines

Wondering others ATs experiences with chiropractic care on the sidelines of football and whether it was positive or negative.


  • No problem with the chiropractic profession. But as for being on the sideline is certainly debatable. There are MDs depending on their specialty probably shouldn't be either. Really depends on the training of the particular individual, and their reason for being on the sideline. Hopefully not to funnel referrals to his own office.
  • edited September 2016
    Our team physician is an orthopedic surgeon, but we have created a relationship with a chiropractor who specializes in ART. She has really contributed to our athletic training room by providing this treatment option to some of our athletes. She does not do any adjusting at our facility, only ART. She will occasionally attend home football games along with the team physician. We have found some good results in her treating cramps with ART during the games.
  • Chiropractors simply dont know their scope of practice and need to stay in their own environment
  • I worked as a graduate assistant for a DIII university for the past 2 years before my current job, and we had the luxury of having a "team chiropractor" that donated a lot of his time to our sports medicine program - to the point where he would come to our athletic training clinic 1x/week to provide adjustments to patients free of charge (provided this "in-house referral" was deemed necessary and proper treatment by an athletic trainer on staff first.

    He was on the sidelines for every home football game, but he never had interaction or did sideline adjustments with the student-athletes when I was there; he was simply there as a fan and supporter of the school's athletic programs.

    I would like to add that having him come to the AT clinic once a week was very interesting and at times proved to be a valuable resource. "Talking shop" and bouncing ideas back and forth with him about rehabilitation exercise choice for certain injuries was educational especially when majority of the referrals were hip/sacrum related - an area that I would assume many AT's have difficulty with due to the amount of muscle/ligament attachment and the intrinsics of the area as well.
  • Chiropractors are another member of your "team provider" group. Many of your athletes will have received past chiropractic care, just as they have received past care from other medical providers. Your "team" of medical providers allows you to have facilitated referrals, as well as an advocate for you and your athletes. One of the duties of a team medical provider is communication with care providers that your athletes may be utilizing. I've found having a designated "team DC" That will call and speak with the athletes private DC regarding care to be invaluable, just as I have found same with my other "provider team" members.
    Having any of your providers on the sidelines requires you to have prior discussion as to roles in that environment. All of your provider team members should have a clear understanding of what aspects of care they will be called upon to perform on the sidelines (and elsewhere).
    Additionally, state practice acts may limit AT's from performing spine manipulation/mobilization techniques. Having a sideline resource can be helpful when an athlete needs those skills.
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