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Do you see a Sports Chiropractor or a “Sports” Chiropractor?


By Dr. Andrew Johnston, DC


There is an important difference between seeing a chiropractor who treats athletes and seeing one who is a Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician (CCSP). Many chiropractors will casually use the term 'sports chiropractor' to differentiate themselves or target athletes. But not all sports chiropractors are created equally. Becoming a Sports Chiropractor requires extensive training as well as continued testing and education. The CCSP course includes not only 100 hours of classroom time, but also outside hands on training from Olympic Training Center Athletic Trainers. This education provides us with special and well researched tools to care for you, our patients and athletes, before, during and after your sport activity (as well as the other standard care that we provide!). This is crucial, because (as I’ve said to many patients in the treatment room) we’re all athletes in our own ways!


This blog isn’t to boast about our education and certifications, or to put down others who classify themselves as sports chiropractors without the same level of training, but instead to give you peace of mind in knowing that we strive to be the best at Washington Park Chiropractic and assure you that we are motivated to put in the effort to gain the training that will truly help our athletes before, during and after their events.

The training that we go through as CCSP certified chiropractors is rigorous, intense and specific. We attend countless lectures, study, highlight and re-read research papers, and spend our time learning the most up to date and researched techniques and information- all for you, our patients. YOU are our valued athletes and we pride ourselves in being prepared to help you the best way we can, of course with standard care, but also so that you are ready for the sports you may participate in.


During the CCSP certification, we are taught how to thoroughly asses our patients for limiting factors that may impede you from playing your favorite sports as well and identify underlying conditions that may be life-threatening in certain circumstances. Our goal is to ensure that you are physically ready and able to participate in the activities you love. Our joy comes in seeing you out there on the field, on the court, or in the gym.

If and when we are on your sideline during a game or sporting event, rest assured that we were formally prepared for this. While on the field, decisions have to be made in a matter of seconds to help athletes. Having gained the extra knowledge from this certification certainly has allowed us to help many people in many different stages of life and in their athletic development both on and off the field.

When patients come to our office post injury, many are seeking direction, reassurance and guidance. The CCSP certification gives us the tools to assess your injuries and prescribe the best individualized care plan in order to get you back to your field of play the quickest. We have been educated not only in the treatment of injuries, but also how to rehab these injuries and prevent repeat injuries through proper diet and exercise. When you come into our office, know that we will seek to get to the bottom of your injuries, and if we cannot, we will get you to someone that can.

The Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician certification sets the Sports Chiropractors apart from the “sports chiropractors” and has helped me personally to feel confident choosing the correct methods of care for my patients both in the treatment room or on the field of play. As I said before, we are all athletes in our own ways and we all need guidance throughout our athletic pursuits. Know that before an injury occurs, during, or after, we have your back…and knees, and shoulders, and, well…I think you get the point!


Dr. Andrew Johnston, DC, SFMA, FDN 1 & 2 is a Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician (CCSP) with a passion for helping his patients achieve their greatest potential, whether that be lifting their grandkids, hiking the trail of their dreams, or succeeding in the professional sport arena. Dr. Johnston focuses on finding and treating the root cause of his patient’s problems, rather than just treating symptoms. Stay connected with Dr. Johnston on Instagram @washparkchiro



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