Sports Chiropractic Research

The Research Commission is responsible for the promotion and encouragement of research in sports chiropractic. Find out how FICS is fostering and developing research and how you can get involved.

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Scope of Practice: Sports Chiropractic

Scope of Practice: 

Sports & Exercise chiropractic is a recognised subset of chiropractic that focuses on the comprehensive and holistic healthcare of the physically active individual or athlete, to prevent injury, restore optimal function and contribute to the enhancement of sports performance. They achieve this using sports-specific knowledge, skills and attitudes to achieve the best clinical practice while ensuring a high standard of professional, safe and ethical practice.

Sports & Exercise chiropractic professionals demonstrate advanced competencies in the customised approach to active individuals of all ages and abilities, at individual and group levels by utilising evidence-based, multi-modal techniques to enhance the function of the neuro-musculoskeletal system.

Sports & Exercise chiropractors have clinical expertise in manual therapy, exercise prescription and rehabilitation, education, translating the latest research into clinical practice, communication, lifestyle advice and leadership. They participate comfortably in a multi-disciplinary team environment, working closely with parents, coaches, other health providers and the community to provide the best high-quality care for each athlete.

Sports Chiropractic Australia
https://www.aice.org.au/cpg/sports
Date accessed: 26/01/21

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Creating an Evidence Base

The Research Commission aim over the coming 5 years is to establish short, medium and long term goals for establishing a robust evidence base for sports chiropractic internationally. The commission will outline a strategy to create and focus the research effort supporting sports chiropractic and FICS and communicate this with stakeholder groups.

Aims of the research effort:

  • Describe modern-day sports chiropractic practice
  • Describe the patients presenting to sports chiropractors (by region).
  • Define the satisfaction rating of patients presenting to chiropractors
  • Describe the background of sports chiropractors (regionally)
  • Describe the scope of care delivered in modern-day sports chiropractic practice
  • Describe the outcomes of different sports chiropractic management approaches. By anatomical region; by prevalence in the region (the most common conditions); by cost (the most expensive to manage to society); and by population (patient setting: private practice, local, state, national, international), competition, training, other.
  • To describe the adverse events associated with sports chiropractic including the different practice/technique groups.

If you would like to partner with FICS on a research project or find out more information, contact the Research Commission Chair Dr Henry Pollard. email:hpollard@optushome.com.au 

Research Collaboration with FICS

FICS Research Commission research priorities, outlined above, will be sent to all Universities/College which has a chiropractic program.   For too long we have had a scattergun approach to research (in sports chiropractic) that was completely random and mostly useless to the political agenda of the profession.

The initial approach taught in the mid 80’s was a very statically oriented approach to assessment and treatment whereas in the last 10-15 years management has become far more dynamic in nature with assessment and management being much more movement-based. Whilst management has always contained some form of exercise therapy, management in the third phase typically contains a quick progression to functional exercise to aid the recovery of patients.

FICS believes these (amongst other management strategies) to be critically important for the modern sports chiropractor. Also, it is equally important for the researcher to investigate modern chiropractic multimodal management approaches. The research commission will be looking to establish a Research-Based Practice Network to investigate the methods used by modern sports chiropractors to manage their patients. The research committee will soon establish key areas of research focus and distribute these to the schools internationally to support and focus the research effort of the sports chiropractic community.  As a profession, we need to communicate and document through research publication who we are, what are our educational standards, what we treat (scope of practice) and how we treat (methods) in order to assist in the recognition of sports chiropractic by government regulators, medical and allied health groups and the greater public that we serve.

If you would like further information, reach out to the Research Commission Chair Dr Henry Pollard. hpollard@optushome.com.au

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Reading List

Below is a list of suggested research articles for sports chiropractors. These are not extensive and do not represent an opinion from FICS.

 

 

Recommended article of month

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RTS guidelines - acute lateral ankle sprain injuries.

Reviewer: Lizandi Schoeman

Reference: Smith MD, Vicenzino B, Bahr R, et al. Return to sport decisions after an acute lateral ankle sprain injury: introducing the PAASS framework—an international multidisciplinary consensus. British Journal of Sports Medicine Published Online First: 22 June 2021. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2021-104087.

Abstract

Background: Despite being the most commonly incurred sports injury with a high recurrence rate, there are no guidelines to inform return to sport (RTS) decisions following acute lateral ankle sprain injuries. We aimed to develop a list of assessment items to address this gap.

Methods: We used a three-round Delphi survey approach to develop consensus of opinion among 155 globally diverse health professionals working in elite field or court sports. This involved surveys that were structured in question format with both closed-response and open-response options. We asked panellists to indicate their agreement about whether or not assessment items should support the RTS decision after an acute lateral ankle sprain injury. The second and third round surveys included quantitative and qualitative feedback from the previous round. We defined a priori consensus being reached at >70% agree or disagree responses.

Results: Sixteen assessment items reached consensus to be included in the RTS decision after an acute lateral ankle sprain injury. They were mapped to five domains with 98% panellist agreement—PAASS: Pain (during sport participation and over the last 24 hours), Ankle impairments (range of motion; muscle strength, endurance and power), Athlete perception (perceived ankle confidence/reassurance and stability; psychological readiness), Sensorimotor control (proprioception; dynamic postural control/balance), Sport/functional performance (hopping, jumping and agility; sport-specific drills; ability to complete a full training session).

Conclusion: Expert opinion indicated that pain severity, ankle impairments, sensorimotor control, athlete perception/readiness and sport/functional performance should be assessed to inform the RTS decision following an acute lateral ankle sprain injury.

Key words: PAASS framework

Critique: This paper provides important guideline criteria for return to play that can be used by medical professionals when treating athletes with lateral ankle sprains. These injuries occur frequently in different sport codes and thus it is important that all medical professionals cover these main aspects when treating their athletes to prevent recurrent ankle sprain injuries.

 

Dr. Henry Pollard is the FICS Research Commission Chair. He is a practising Sports & Exercise Chiropractor and clinical scientist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the owner and director of a chiropractic clinic located in the Southern Sydney beachside suburb of Cronulla and has a special interest in Sports Chiropractic. He is also Head, Australasian Institute of Chiropractic Education (AICE), a business unit of the Australian Chiropractors Association (ACA). Prof Pollard has been in private clinical practice for the last 34 years, has been an Independent Chiropractic Consultant (IME) for State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) (Formerly known as WorkCover Authority of NSW) for 18 years and has taught for 30+ years in the areas of orthopedics, sports medicine, clinical management and research at several universities. He currently holds an Adjunct professorial position at CQUniversity. He has lectured at numerous conferences nationally and internationally in the fields of Chiropractic, Sports Medicine, and Research and has published 130 peer-reviewed manuscripts in medical and chiropractic peer-reviewed journals. His research interests include clinical & sports chiropractic, epidemiology of injury, sports medicine, and psychosocial factors in chronic pain. He has had 9 PhD and 3 MSc research student completions. He currently has 2 MSc and 2 PhD student supervisions. Additionally, he has helped raise over $1 million dollars for chiropractic research.  In a career that has spanned nearly 35 years and three distinct phases: clinical / working with teams (collision and non-collision sports); academic/research and clinical/regulatory.

E-Mail:        hpollard@optushome.com.au               H Index:     26                  Researchgate Rating:   35.28

Dr Henry Pollard

FICS Research Commission Chair, BSc, Grad Dip Chiro, Grad Dip App Sc, M Sport Sc, PhD, ICSC, FICC, FAICE (2019)