Does chiropractic improve sports performance?

Dr. Andrew Miners is Assistant Professor at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic Collage, in Toronto.

He reviewed the evidence.

First, the details.

  • Among 59 relevant articles, 7 articles of variable quality investigated/discussed chiropractic treatment and its involvement in sport performance enhancement.

And, the results.

  • There is insufficient evidence to convincingly support the notion that treatment provided by chiropractors directly improves sport performance.

The bottom line?

Dr. Nancy Theberge, at the University of Waterloo, in Ontario, observes that the defining feature of sport medicine is an emphasis on performance.

“While the common understanding that ‘athletes wanted them’ has helped to secure a position for chiropractic within the system of sport medicine professions, this position is marked by ongoing tensions with other professions over the scope and content of practice, and the nature of the patient-practitioner relationship.”

Accordingly, advises Dr. Theberge, “Chiropractors’ success in achieving acceptance on sport medicine teams is contingent on 2 factors.

  • Reduced scope of practice in which they work primarily as manual therapists.
  • Exemplary performance of individual practitioners who ‘fit’ into multi-disciplinary sport medicine teams.”

A few well designed studies that provide evidence-based support for chiropractic on sports performance wouldn’t hurt either.

12/2/10 22:21 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.