Chiropractor retires after 42 years of local service |

Chiropractor retires after 42 years of local service

Colorado native Dr. Tim Rinn, local chiropractor for 42 years and an active community volunteer, is retiring this week.
Suzie Romig/Steamboat Pilot & Today

As likely the longest, continuously serving doctor in Routt County in modern times, Dr. Tim Rinn has seen his practice evolve through 42 years of care from treating rodeo cowboys to more mountain bikers and kayakers.

For more than four decades, Rinn, 69, has been a caring, competent medical professional for athletes, patients from nearby counties and multiple generations of local families, ranging from residents chopping wood in the fall to patients falling on the ice or getting hurt in snowmobile accidents to locals gardening and mending fences in the spring.

Through the years, Rinn has seen X-ray technology progress from dip tanks for processing films to quick and easy digital imagery. Now, his practice includes cold laser therapy. What has remained the same is Rinn’s friendly care.

Wednesday is his last day at his clinic in Steamboat Springs, as he retires to move and spend more time in volunteer work and reading bedtime stories to some of his seven grandchildren out of state. The Colorado native gets misty eyed when talking about moving from Routt County, and his long-time-patients-turned-friends are sad, too.

“The most valuable thing in the world is not things; it’s relationships, and that’s what I’m going to miss.” — Chiropractor Tim Rinn, upon retiring after 42 years

Yampa resident and retired lineman Gene Sanders, who climbed electrical poles for a living, believes he would have retired 10 years sooner if not for Rinn’s 40 years of care. One day, Sanders’ friends wheeled him into Rinn Chiropractic Center in Steamboat Springs on a dolly. After the first day of treatment, Sanders walked out slowly, and the third day, he was back at work, he said.

“I climbed poles for 36 years, and the man kept me on the job, I can tell you that,” Sanders said. “He takes a real interest in his clients. He’s a caring person, period. He is a good listener with solid advice and a good family man.”

South Routt resident Frank Schaffner first received care about 40 years ago after hurting his back in coal mining.

“He worked miracles on my back and helped me out quite a bit,” Schaffner said. “He’s a been a great friend other than a doctor. He’s just a great guy all the way around.”

In business since October 1979, likely bested in longevity only by historic Steamboat Dr. Frederick “Doc” Willett, Rinn offered a neuromuscular skeletal practice for families with an emphasis on sports therapy. The practice includes manual chiropractic adjustments, closed disk reduction to assist in back alignment, electrotherapy to reduce pain and cold laser therapy to repair tissue, reduce scar tissue and reduce pain.

Rinn estimates he has cared for some 25,000 patients, and the practice currently has 9,300 active patient files.

The practice was purchased in the spring by Cameron Fines, a certified life coach. Dr. Eric Wilson, a chiropractor from the Front Range, joins the practice this week under the new name Steamboat Chiropractic Center.

Rinn is one of a limited number of chiropractors in Colorado who earned diplomate status with the American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physicians, the highest level of sports training in the chiropractic field. He served as team chiropractor for the U.S. Nordic Combined Ski Team from 1996 to 2002, as chiropractor for the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club Freestyle Team and for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes national camp. He volunteered many years as sidelines doctor for Steamboat Springs middle and high school sports, and he also served on the American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physicians Ethics Committee and as a board member of the Colorado Chiropractic Sports Council.

In his retirement, Rinn plans to remain an active volunteer and help in international orphanage work through the Christian Chiropractors Association.

Rinn and his wife, Susie, raised three sons in Steamboat Springs, one of whom became a chiropractor, too.

“I’d really like to thank my patients and the community for the best 42 years, and they will always be in my thoughts and prayers,” Rinn said with emotion. “God has really blessed me with some wonderful people as patients and friends.”

“I’m going to miss the man from the chiropractor side,” Sanders noted, “and also I’m going to miss the man because of the man he is.”

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