Australian chiropractic sports medicine

half way there or living on a prayer?

Henry Pollard*, Wayne Hoskins, Andrew McHardy, Rod Bonello, Peter Garbutt, Mike Swain, George Dragasevic, Mario Pribicevic, Andrew Vitiello

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/opinion

14 Citations (Scopus)
91 Downloads (Pure)


Sports chiropractic within Australia has a chequered historical background of unorthodox individualistic displays of egocentric treatment approaches that emphasise specific technique preference and individual prowess rather than standardised evidence based management. This situation has changed in recent years with the acceptance of many within sports chiropractic to operate under an evidence informed banner and to embrace a research culture. Despite recent developments within the sports chiropractic movement, the profession is still plagued by a minority of practitioners continuing to espouse certain marginal and outlandish technique systems that beleaguer the mainstream core of sports chiropractic as a cohesive and homogeneous group. Modern chiropractic management is frequently multimodal in nature and incorporates components of passive and active care. Such management typically incorporates spinal and peripheral manipulation, mobilisation, soft tissue techniques, rehabilitation and therapeutic exercises. Externally, sports chiropractic has faced hurdles too, with a lack of recognition and acceptance by organized and orthodox sports medical groups. Whilst some arguments against the inclusion of chiropractic may be legitimate due to its historical baggage, much of the argument appears to be anti-competitive, insecure and driven by a closed-shop mentality.sequently, chiropractic as a profession still remains a pariah to the organised sports medicine world. Add to this an uncertain continuing education system, a lack of protection for the title 'sports chiropractor', a lack of a recognized specialist status and a lack of support from traditional chiropractic, the challenges for the growth and acceptance of the sports chiropractor are considerable. This article outlines the historical and current challenges, both internal and external, faced by sports chiropractic within Australia and proposes positive changes that will assist in recognition and inclusion of sports chiropractic in both chiropractic and multi-disciplinary sports medicine alike.

Original languageEnglish
Article number14
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalChiropractic and Osteopathy
Publication statusPublished - 19 Sep 2007

Bibliographical note

© 2007 Pollard et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

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    Pollard, H., Hoskins, W., McHardy, A., Bonello, R., Garbutt, P., Swain, M., ... Vitiello, A. (2007). Australian chiropractic sports medicine: half way there or living on a prayer? Chiropractic and Osteopathy, 15, 1-13. [14].