Background: This paper describes the education and case management profile of sports chiropractors with the Federation of International Sports Chiropractors (FICS) postgraduate qualification: International Chiropractic Sport Science Practitioner (ICSSP). The ICSSP is the predominant international sports chiropractic qualification.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey, carried out between 22/10/2014 and 22/12/2014,was utilized with a 39-item web-based survey examining practitioner, practice and clinical management characteristics, and was distributed via email to all sports chiropractors who held an ICSSP qualification (n = 240) in 2014.
Results: The survey response rate was 64% (n = 154). 36% of chiropractors were aged between 31 and 40 years, just over three quarters were male, and 27% had been in practice for 5–10 years. The majority of respondents were based in North America. All sports chiropractors surveyed reported treating neuromusculoskeletal conditions outside of the spine. 91% utilized a multimodal approach in most of their treatments, prescribing rehabilitative exercises in 76% of consultations. Almost 64% of respondents reported current treatment of professional athletes, and 78% reported current treatment of semi-professional athletes, whilst the vast majority of those surveyed endorsed past treatment of professional (91%) and semi-professional (95%) athletes. All respondents reported referring to a range of conventional and allied health providers.
Conclusions: This study of ICSSP-qualified sports chiropractors describes a small but well-educated workforce treating high-level athletes, managing a wide range of spine and non-spinal neuromusculoskeletal conditions, utilising multimodal approaches (including active and passive strategies), and referring to and co-managing with other health practitioners.
Author keywords: Sports chiropractic — Manipulation — Multimodal — ICSSP — Sports sciences — Cross-sectional survey
Author affiliations: LN: Health and High Performance, Mont Albert North, Victoria, Australia; HP: CQ University, Sydney, New Spouth Wales, Australia; RA, CdaC: RMIT University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; BJ: Optimize Sports Chiropractic, South Yarra, Victoria, Australia; PG: Enhance Healthcare, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Corresponding author: Luke Nelson— Luke@healthhp.com.au
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