Vail chiropractor treats NFL stars at July camp |

Vail chiropractor treats NFL stars at July camp

Lauren Glendenning
Vail, Colorado
Special to the DailyVail chiropractor Dr. Joel Dekanich works on retired National Football League star Cris Carter at an NFL training camp over the summer.

VAIL, Colorado – Celebrities and athletes often come to the Vail Valley for medical care with some of our local world-class doctors, but one local doctor is traveling with professional athletes to provide care on the road.

Dr. Joel Dekanich, part of the Vail Integrative Medical Group, got back from a National Football League camp in July, where he worked on greats such as Cris Carter and Michael Irvin and upcoming stars such as Denver Broncos rookie Eric Decker and James Laurinaitis, of the St. Louis Rams.

Dekanich has been in the valley for more than 15 years as a chiropractor, which is essentially a specialist in spine-related disorders. He uses active release technique, known in the chiropractor world as ART, which is a muscular type of treatment that breaks up scar tissue and lengthens muscles.

“It’s highly sought after by athletes,” Dekanich said.

At his practice, Vail Integrative Medical Group, chiropractors, medical doctors and physical therapists work together to form a team approach to their practice. It’s a sports injury one-stop shop, Dekanich said.

The recent traveling to both lecture and practice techniques on professional athletes – Dekanich also works on staff with the PGA Tour and has worked and lectured at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs – proves chiropractors have come a long way since the American Medical Association tried to discredit the profession from the 1940s through about the 1970s.

“Chiropractors have been around for 110 to 115 years, and they’ve always gotten good results,” Dekanich said.

Working together with other chiropractors, physical therapists and a medical doctor at the practice is something fairly rare, but Dekanich said he wouldn’t have it any other way.

“Patients love it – everything is right there,” he said. “We work in cooperation, not in competition.”

Working with the National Football League over the summer was something Dekanich really enjoyed. He said chiropractic work really helps some of the athletes.

Carter, who is now retired but works as a football commentator on television, told Dekanich the treatment could have helped prolonged his career if he had it back when he was still playing.

“The players seemed very familiar with chiropractic work, but we definitely provided them with some new stuff they’ve never had before,” Dekanich said. “It was nice to be in that environment and work on different players from different positions from different teams.”

To stay current, the doctors and staff at the Vail Integrative Medical Group do a lot of continuing education each year. The field is always evolving, and you have to read journals and attend continuing-education classes to stay on top of the latest advances, Dekanich said.

To check out the Vail Integrative Medical Group online, visit

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