The chiropractic specialty in sports and human performance is in an exciting period of growth. Take, for example, the fact that the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games was, for the first time in history, a Doctor of Chiropractic.
“More and more high-level athletes are demanding chiropractic care and insisting that chiropractors travel with them or their team,” says Emily Canfield, Doctor of Chiropractic and instructor at New York Chiropractic College.
Dr. Canfield holds a bachelor’s degree in athletic training and a master’s degree in sports studies, in addition to her Doctor of Chiropractic. In graduate school and beyond her D.C. training, Dr. Canfield has worked with various sports teams, including the Minnesota Swarm, the professional men’s lacrosse team in St. Paul.
Dr. Canfield has found that a large percentage of her students at NYCC are very interested in working with athletes.
“Chiropractic students are getting more specialized information in school in order to treat this population more effectively,” she said.
Dr. Canfield explains that the specialty of sports and human performance is similar to working with general populations, with a few exceptions. While sports chiropractors see sacroiliac joint dysfunction, low back issues, rib dysfunction, and cervical pain and dysfunction, which are typical of all general chiropractic, they also seem to have the addition of more extremity complaints.
“Which make sense with how these individuals are using their bodies,” Dr. Canfield says.
It is also unique because you perform everything you would do with a traditional patient, except at a much faster pace and sometimes in very unusual environments, says Dr. Canfield.
“I’ve adjusted athletes in dirt, mud, on ice, concrete, metal bleachers, in a dugout, on turf, and in a gymnasium setting. You have to be very creative while being thorough and professional. It’s a lot of fun.”