Who We Are
The Professional Hockey Chiropractic Society (PHCS) is an organization of highly skilled chiropractors that provide care to the players and staff of the National Hockey League (NHL) teams. The PHCS’s mission is to provide the highest quality of chiropractic health service to the individual player and staff members of the team they serve. In addition, the PHCS serves its members by providing continuing education for the professional sports chiropractor as it relates to the profession, helping their understanding and knowledge and application of sports medicine and ancillary services.
Our goal is to enhance the health and performance of each and every individual athlete and staff member so that they may express their optimal health potential. The PHCS also serves as a resource to educate those outside the professional hockey chiropractic community about the profession and the chiropractor’s integral role within the sports medicine team.
For many years professional athletes have utilized Chiropractic care to help them get through the rigors and physical demands of the season in a variety of sports. Just about every team in the NHL, MLB, the NBA, and the NFL has chiropractors on staff to provide Chiropractic care to their players each and every game.
Professional hockey clubs have come a long way in providing Chiropractic to their players. Chiropractic care has been a vital component in helping many of the biggest stars in the National Hockey League recover faster from injuries, keep themselves healthy by preventing repetitive movement injuries, and enhance their performance throughout the long and tedious NHL season. Some of the most successful players have been major supporters of chiropractic and have expressed their personal success stories in many media outlets in recent years.
The PHCS holds annual workshops with continuing education opportunities for the chiropractors that provide care to the teams of the NHL. Experts from various medical disciplines present valuable techniques and scientific information that is designed to enhance and expand the repertoire of the chiropractor’s skill set.
In 1996, Dr. Alan Palmer began working with the Phoenix Coyotes. This fabulous opportunity prompted him to start the Chiropractic Association for the Elite and Professional Athlete (CEPA). CEPA was founded at the request of The San Francisco Giants’ head athletic trainer Mark Letendre. At the time, Dr. Palmer was working with the Giants during spring training in Scottsdale, Arizona. There were several reasons for this effort. One was to develop a network within professional sports (specifically MLB at that time) that would make it easier for teams to identify qualified chiropractors to work on their athletes when they would travel on the road. Another was to teach chiropractors interested in working with sports teams specialized treatment techniques for working with elite and professional athletes. Still, another was to educate those chiropractors about how to work within the professional sports medical field alongside medical doctors, athletic trainers, physical therapists, and strength and conditioning specialists. Finally, it was imperative to teach them how to provide services that could complement and enhance the work that the other experts were doing while at the same time avoiding crossing into their area of specialty, in essence interfering with the outstanding care that they provide the athletes.
“CEPA started as a certification program,” Palmer explains. “Mark wanted us to educate the doctors about certain standards and protocols, and how to prevent chiropractors from stepping on toes and teach them how to build relationships with athletes and trainers, including the entire team medical staff.” The “continuity of care” concern figured largely in the birth of CEPA. Inconsistencies in care and communication when interacting with the team sports medicine specialists by some chiropractors left many head trainers wary of allowing chiropractors entry into players’ health care. CEPA was born out of these frustrations.
Recognizing that chiropractic is a valuable asset that complements the expertise of the team medical physicians and athletic trainers, the PHCS strives to educate those professionals as to the separate and distinct services and talents that a doctor of chiropractic can provide. This inclusion will create a synergy where everyone benefits, the sports medicine staff, the team, the organization, especially the athlete!