Managing athletic injuries with chiropractic within team-based care

As part of the medical services for the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games in Toronto this summer, there are nearly 140 volunteer chiropractors working alongside other healthcare professionals to help manage musculoskeletal injuries among athletes. Chiropractic care as part of the medical services team can help manage musculoskeletal injuries and enhance performance to ensure they are at their best in competition.

Historically, Canadian chiropractors have played an important role in supporting both amateur and professional/elite athletes due to their extensive training in the assessment, diagnosis and management of musculoskeletal conditions. For those with a keen interest in sport sciences, chiropractors can complete additional specialized training for the Sports Sciences Residency Program. These specialized providers often play a lead role in medical and therapeutic services as part of a sports team or mass games.

As part of a healthcare team, chiropractors help support the care of athletes by providing manual therapies which may include joint manipulation/mobilization, soft tissue therapy, modalities (e.g. acupuncture, TENS, IFC, US) and rehabilitation. Notably, an important aspect of the care of athletes focuses on injury prevention strategies which are adapted to the specific needs and characteristics of the individual. In Canada, 66% of injuries among youth were due to sports, with sports being the cause of 29% of all injuries in adults.Since sports-related injuries are high and can prevent an athlete from performing, it is essential to have chiropractors as part of the medical team at the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games this summer to help athletes manage any injuries.

At a glance, a chiropractor can help athletes with the following:

  • Ensure a faster return to sports: Regular chiropractic care combined with rehabilitation can help an athlete return to play faster and prevent future reoccurrence.
  • Reduce pain: Joint manipulation and manual mobilization, as well as soft tissue therapy, can increase your range of motion, improve function and relieve pain/symptoms.
  • Relieve symptoms and facilitate tissue repair: Chiropractic treatment plans can include manual therapies complemented by modalities such as ultrasound, electrical stimulation, and acupuncture, as well as soft tissue therapy.

Adding Chiropractic Treatment to Your Healthcare

In general, when you begin any new sport or physical activity, visit your chiropractor or other healthcare professionals to determine what measures can be taken to prevent injury or enhance your performance. Having a chiropractor as part of your healthcare team is important and can prevent pain down the road. If you are unsure of where to find a chiropractor, you can find one on our website.

Have you added a chiropractor to your healthcare team? How has it helped you with your performance?

1. Jean-Michel Billette, Teresa Janz, “Injuries in Canada: Insights from the Canadian Community Health Survey”, Health at a Glance, Statistics Canada. June 28, 2011,

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