Disc experts: How this Vancouver chiropractic duo provides support to patients on and off the field

Date:  February 20, 2024


Dr. Stephen Mogatas and Dr. Jack Li

From the sidelines of USA Ultimate Club Championship (ultimate frisbee) in San Diego, California, CCA members Dr. Jack Li and Dr. Stephen Mogatas were itching to sneak into play.

The championship was full of bids (an attempt to block or catch an opponent’s disc), layouts (flying through the air in an attempt to catch a disc) and skies (when opposing players jump to catch a disc, with one player jumping significantly higher to make the catch).  Ultimate frisbee, typically referred to only as “ultimate,” is a fast-paced and non-contact team sport played with a flying disc (frisbee). The game combines elements of soccer, basketball, and football, with an emphasis on athleticism and strategy. With any high-level sporting event, injuries were likely to occur, and it was Dr. Li and Dr. Mogatas’s job to help these players stay healthy and safe on the field.

“We are really lucky that we have a profession that we can tailor to something that we love like ultimate. It’s not actually a requirement to work in Jointworks, but it just so happens that our entire staff plays!” shared Dr. Mogatas. Jointworks Chiropractic is a multidisciplinary clinic based in Vancouver, BC.

These Canadian chiropractors know what it’s like to be sidelined due to injury which they say makes their practice even more meaningful.

 “I started playing ultimate when I was grade ten and didn’t really understand my body. I was just playing the sport and the coaches didn’t having much experience with the training aspect. But I got injured in grade 11,” recalls Dr. Li. “The clinic that I went to was actually Jointworks and there I saw Dr. Janey Jim. She showed me ways to get back on the field a lot quicker and taught me how to feel more confident and capable because being on the sideline was not fun.”

The positive experience with injury support and healthy physical maintenance is what inspired Dr. Li to pursue a career in chiropractic.

“This is what I want to do! To combine my love for ultimate and to continue to strive to give back in the sense that I also don’t like being on the sideline and I want to help people get back on their feet a lot faster.”

“Funny enough, Dr. Jim, who is also my wife, was also my influence… although that was 15-20 years earlier,” shared Dr. Mogatas.  “I was a registered nurse (RN) before but seeing what Dr. Jim was doing, what she was learning and being more exposed to it, I decided to apply to chiropractic college and basically follow through with what I wanted to do for a long time but never thought I could.”

Dr. Mogatas has also been playing ultimate for many years and has even been the chiropractor for Team Canada’s ultimate cohort at the World Games in 2013, 2017 and 2022. Over the years and with their connection to ultimate leagues and teams, Jointworks became a sponsor to provide chiropractic care to teams like the University of British Columbia team and other Vancouver-based clubs that eventually feed into national level teams.

With his background as an RN, Dr. Mogatas provides an evolving philosophy of a team approach to healthcare as hands-on, manual therapy, exercise therapy, and education all work together to support a patient-focused approach.

While he was in nursing, he was able to support ultimate medical teams with various wound care and nursing type tasks on the sidelines. “When I became a chiropractor and developed all these skills, I thought who better than to bring it to this community?” There’s a mutual understanding of what it’s like being injured and stuck on the sideline. And now, his scope of care includes issues like concussion management and other musculoskeletal ailments.

“Every day, there’s some sort of ultimate player here whether they used to play and now they’re raising a family or they’re a young prospect that’s trying to make that national team or it’s a four-five-time national team captain, and it just brightens up the day for sure!”

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