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J Chiropr Med. 2013 Dec;12(4):216-29. doi: 10.1016/j.jcm.2013.10.011.

Chiropractic and concussion in sport: a narrative review of the literature.

Author information

  • 1Professor and Editor, National University of Health Sciences, Lombard, IL.
  • 2Associate Editor, National University of Health Sciences, Lombard, IL.
  • 3President, American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physicians, Private Practice, Lakewood, CO.
  • 4Managing Director, Sports Medicine, United States Olympic Committee, Colorado Springs, CO.
  • 5Associate Director, United States Olympic Committee, Clinical Research and Multidisciplinary Clinical Care, Colorado Springs, CO.



Concussion is a common sporting injury that may be seen by doctors of chiropractic and should be managed following current practice guidelines. The purpose of this abstract is to present a literature review on chiropractic management of concussion in sport and to discuss current guidelines.


A review of the literature was performed using the PubMed search engine. MeSH terms included chiropractic and concussion. Search dates were the beginning of the record through July 30, 2013. All languages and article types were included in the search. Articles found were retrieved and evaluated for the relevance of chiropractic management of concussion in sport.


Five articles were found (1 prospective study, 1 survey, 3 literature reviews) ranging in publication years from 1993 to 2012. No articles reported a position statement, and none provided a review of current concussion management practices related to chiropractic practice. No articles reported adverse outcomes of chiropractic management of an athlete with concussion.


Research related to the chiropractic management of concussion in sport is a nascent area of investigation. Although there are few published articles, the articles in this review showed that doctors of chiropractic encounter concussed athletes at events and in clinical practice. It is essential for doctors of chiropractic to understand the importance of using standardized concussion assessment tools and current concussion guidelines.


Chiropractic; Concussion; Sports injuries; Traumatic brain injury

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