President’s Message

ACBSP™ Presidential Update: The Crucial Role of Concussion Training for Sports Medicine Chiropractors

In the realm of sports medicine, ACBSP® certified Doctors of Chiropractic play a vital role in the preservation of athlete health. With this specialized expertise, ACBSP® certified Doctors of Chiropractic possess a sports medicine background that uniquely positions these healthcare providers to address a broad range of issues, including concussions. This presidential message elucidates the significance of concussion training for ACBSP® certified Doctors of Chiropractic and the impact on athlete health.

  1. Understanding Concussions:
    Concussions are complex traumatic brain injuries that demand prompt recognition and appropriate management. Sports-related concussions can lead to short- and long-term consequences if not properly addressed.
  2. Unique Expertise:
    Chiropractors with sports medicine specialization as a Diplomate American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physicians® (DACBSP®) or Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician® (CCSP®) bring unique skill sets to the management of concussion. Their deep understanding of musculoskeletal systems, neurology, and biomechanics enables comprehensive evaluation and targeted concussion treatment.
  3. Early Detection and Assessment:
    Accurate early assessment and correct management is pivotal in managing concussions. Sports medicine certified chiropractors are equipped to conduct thorough evaluations, incorporating neurological exams, cognitive assessments, and balance tests, contributing to precise diagnoses.
  4. Multidisciplinary Collaboration:
    Collaboration among healthcare professionals is imperative in concussion care. ACBSP® certified Doctors of Chiropractic training in sports medicine allows them to seamlessly work alongside medical doctors, psychologists, coaching staff, physical therapists, and athletic trainers to devise holistic treatment plans.
  5. Personalized Treatment:
    ACBSP® certified Doctors of Chiropractic are proficient in sports medicine and can design individualized rehabilitation protocols. This includes manual therapies, exercise regimens, sports participation return to play planning, and lifestyle adjustments, all aimed at promoting optimal recovery.
  6. Return-to-Play Decisions:
    Deciding when an athlete can safely return to their sport requires well informed clinical judgment. Sports medicine chiropractors are adept at monitoring concussion recovery milestones and guiding athletes through the phased return-to-play process.
  7. Ongoing Education:
    Concussion science is evolving rapidly. Chiropractors with sports medicine specialization engage in continuous education, staying current with the latest research, protocols, and best practices in concussion management.
  8. Athlete Advocacy:
    Chiropractors hold a unique position to advocate for athlete well-being. Educating athletes, coaches, and parents about the gravity of concussions fosters a culture of safety in sports.


ACBSP® certified Doctors of Chiropractic are instrumental in addressing the intricate nature of concussions in sports. Their holistic approach, multidisciplinary collaboration, and dedication to ongoing education make them indispensable in safeguarding athletes’ health and performance. The significance of concussion training for chiropractors is evident in their ability to contribute to the optimal recovery and long-term well-being of athletes.


The ACBSP™ represents the largest body of recognized chiropractic specialists with more than 2,000 Doctors of Chiropractic who hold current certificates of additional qualification as either a DACBSP® or CCSP®. Since the early nineteen eighties the ACBSP™ has led the development and implementation of chiropractic sports medicine certifications and has succeeded in offering validated credentialing processes. These processes ensure that ACBSP certified sports chiropractors meet competency standards to effectively work with and care for athletes and active people from all walks of life.

The ACBSP™ also offers an annual sports science symposium that provides evidence guided continuing education and research directly related to sports chiropractic. The 2022 ACBSPSports Science Symposium will meet at the Hilton Los Angeles / Universal City with a theme of “Complex Considerations for the Athlete.” The symposium starts Thursday April 28, 2022 and closes on Sunday May 1, 2022. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to learn and visit with your peers in person in sunny California. The targeted outcome of the symposium is to facilitate the dissemination of the latest scientific knowledge, treatment trends and best practices for patient care. Click Here for more information.

Society is experiencing historic transitions within the health care industry with some shift toward more technology. The ACBSP continues to explore how we can best position the ACBSP and you the certificant to better leverage technology to help in examination delivery and development and promoting sports chiropractic.

The ACBSP is at a crossroads of developing the strategic plan for the future of the ACBSP. We need to be creative while developing clarity regarding how to best preserve what we do well and to creatively adapt to both challenges and solutions. Last month the ACBSP board of directors, examinations chairs and key leaders of the ACBSP met for a strategic summit to best identify the future priorities and strategies for our certificants.

At the meeting we focused on identifying the role of the ACBSP board of directors, how to help the ACBSP build process and policy to provide for a planned consistent forward movement of the institutional directive while also maintaining the fiduciary duty all ACBSP officers and staff are required to honor. Experience seems to indicate the course of the ACBSP is tactically identified by the board of directors at the time which does not necessarily equate to meeting ACBSP strategic initiatives. One position, which I support, is the need to focus on building organizational structure to optimize the role of the ACBSP board of directors to best oversee, or manage, the actions of the implementors of ACBSP strategy: the ACBSP home office staff, examination committees and other committees.

Financially the ACBSP is currently in a solid position. The BOD is slowly building an emergency reserve fund to ensure the financial security and thus the longevity of the ACBSP.

Over the past three decades, the ACBSP has studied and developed new definitions for the certificates of additional qualifications of a DACBSP® and CCSP® on a five-year rotating basis. Please make sure you participate in these surveys when you see these next surveys in a couple years.  The job analysis provides the blueprint for guidance to keep the certification process current and reflective of today’s needs for the Doctor of Chiropractic with a certificate of additional qualification in sports. Then academic programs are notified of the updates.

Over the coming months, the ACBSP will continue to work to better define the ACBSP committee structure and scope of responsibilities and share this information with you. If you see a committee that is interesting to you and you would like to be considered to help please notify the ACBSP home office.

To meet evolving needs of patients, the ACBSP position papers on concussion and the periodic health examination (PPE) will be updated in 2022. We look forward to sharing the updated positions with you.

Your work in health care is embodied in daily patient impact where you spread the word of sports chiropractic. Providing best of class health care to patients from all backgrounds expands upon the good works already done. Patients seek health care experiences where they feel listened to and empowered, and where health care teams collaborate with patients to deliver customized patient centered care informed by evidence, clinical experience, and patient preferences. 

The ACBSP continues to lead the charge for chiropractic specialties and chiropractic practice. The steps forward that we have taken together are still just the beginning. Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers: The Story of Success shared “Working really hard is what successful people do…”. The ACBSP appreciates that you are working hard every day and the ACBSP is working hard to support you. Tomorrow’s solutions will arise from fresh ideas and creative innovations, not from replicating the strategies of the past. I invite you to join with the ACBSP as we continue to design and deliver a plan for the future.

ACBSP™ Certificant Presidential Update September 2021

The ACBSP home office, committee members and board of directors have continued to press forward to the benefit of the ACBSP, the ACBSP certificants and the patients who are served by the certificants. This President’s message serves as an update to recent board related activities.

The ACBSP has formed one examination committee to help ensure that best practices regarding the ACBSP examinations continues to grow for the written and practical examinations. Holly Westbrook, DC, DACBSP®, EMT, CSCS was appointed as the chairperson of the newly formed ACBSP examination committee. The written examination chair is Scott Vanina, DC, DACBSP and the practical examination co-chairs are Todd Petersen, DC, DACBSP and Annie Babikian DC, DACBSP.

The new computer-based testing is moving forward providing examinees a comfortable at home setting to write the examinations and saving funds related to travel to write the written examinations. Both examinations continue to provide solid psychometric data regarding the validity of identifying competency in the candidates. The pass/fail scores are determined based upon the pass score (cut-score) as determined by the examination committees using the expertise of the ACBSP psychometrician. The examinations are designed to identify entry level competencies related to the work of the DACBSP® or CCSP®.

We all recognize that diversity and inclusion are important to society as a whole as well as the ACBSP. Inclusion is important for the ACBSP because diversity improves the fabric of what we do. We provide for all patients who enrich our lives. The various barriers and opportunities for the implementation of diversity in healthcare practices are known. There is a lack of consensus regarding how healthcare professionals work with diversity. A “neutral approach” does not meet today’s standards. To raise the awareness and enhance the competence of ACBSP related healthcare professionals, related educational programming, examination fairness and sports medicine networks a definitive pathway forward is required. To move forward the ACBSP will create a Diversity and/or Inclusion statement.

This November the ACBSP will host a strategic planning retreat to set the agenda for the ACBSP in the upcoming years. The board of directors, home office staff and examination committee chairs will meet to identify where the organization needs to move forward in the future. If you have ideas of key areas that need to be considered please drop me an email and share your thoughts. A recap of the meeting outcomes will be provided in a future president’s letter.

The ACBSP president can appoint up to two advisors. We welcome Drs. Erica Witter Davis, DC, DACBSP and Annie Babikian, DC, DACSBP as the presidential advisors during my term as president. Additionally, the future of the ACBSP is represented by the first honorary student advisor to the president, Jasmine Piper. Jasmine is a former soccer athlete who is finishing her DC education with a commitment to obtain her CCSP as soon as possible. We need to hear all these great advisors thoughts. I encourage you to support the board and advisors as well as engage them with your ideas and thoughts to improve the ACBSP.

The ACBSP position statements on sports related concussion and the periodic health examination (PPE) are slated to be updated within the next year. The next international

concussion consensus was to have been held in Paris, France on October 28-30, 2020. The conference, like so many others, was cancelled because of COVID. The ACBSP position statement on concussion will be updated accordingly.

There is continuing contraction and in some cases expansion of the ACBSP certificants abilities to practice sports medicine. The most common areas are around the periodic health examination and sports related concussion. The ACBSP is seeking a certificant in good standing in each of the states, or jurisdictional areas, to monitor and report back to the ACBSP the current status of your ability to perform a PPE and evaluate and manage sports related concussion, including return to play decision making. Another area of interest is to identify opportunities for the ACBSP to support State related opportunities for our certificants to fully practice as you are trained to. Contact Cindy Hayter @ [email protected] if you would like to volunteer to help the ACBSP monitor these activities for your state.

As always, feel free to drop me an email @ [email protected] with your thoughts. Thank you for your continued support of the ACBSP.