Chiropractors Can Assess and Clear Concussed Student Athletes in Ohio

Chiropractors may soon be able to assess and clear student athletes who suffer concussions under legislation passed last week by the Ohio General Assembly, according to a report in the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

The provision is embedded in Ohio’s “return to play” law, which requires that student athletes, who show signs of a concussion or head injury be removed from practice or competition until cleared by a physician.

“The law specifies only medical doctors, doctors of osteopathy and health professionals, including chiropractors working with those physicians, can assess athletes’ injuries and clear them to return to play,” according to the paper.

The Ohio State Chiropractic Association’s Nicholas Strata told the paper that chiropractors study neurology nearly as much as physicians and many receive additional training in sports medicine or neurology.

Furthermore, “in some parts of the state, specifically Southeast Ohio, there are a limited number of authorized practitioners to assess and clear an athlete,” he said. “This has the potential to encourage our youth athletes to mask or cover up their symptoms.”

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