Written and photography by ROB MCCORKLE
Of course, if you have an injury or surgery and your physician recommends therapy, don’t avoid it. You may also have something less serious, like an injury from gardening that just doesn’t go away after a few weeks. Mark says, “The sooner you see us, the sooner we can figure out the problem and the sooner you’ll feel better. Some things get better over time, but as we get older, they get less treatable at home and you can benefit from professional advice.”
Patients, who range in age from as young as three to as mature as 100, come to Del Valle for a variety of reasons, including sports injuries (they treat many student athletes as well as weekend warriors) and work injuries. Mark says “Throughout the years, we’ve done it all. If you do a sport, we’ve probably treated it: running, football, baseball, even fencing. We treat all orthopedic- type injuries or basic pain, pain in any joint from the tip of your neck where it connects to your skull down to the great toe. Our training encompasses every joint, every facet of the joint, muscular, neurological, soft tissue like ligaments or capsules that hold the joints together.”
In previous jobs, I’ve overseen worker’s compensation claims and found myself frustrated by the lack of information we’d receive about an injured employee’s physical status. Other functions performed at Del Valle include very thorough functional capacity evaluations to determine an injured employee’s ability to return to work, as well as pre-employment screenings to establish if a candidate can perform required duties.
While they’ve had more success stories than Mark can count, including some very complicated cases, one he is most proud of is a patient he didn’t treat. The patient was sure he had back issues, when it turned out, as Mark suspected and advised, it was something totally different. In this case, it was an infection in the patient’s spine. He was glad he had the training and knowledge to recognize that it wasn’t a muscular issue and urged the man to get appropriate care.
Del Valle has strong community connections, too, contributing to numerous local activities and
organizations, including Boys and Girls Club, NMSU and high school sports programs, academic programs like the Borderlands Writing Project, and the Las Cruces International Film Festival.
Mark says, “We’re entrenched in the community and always have been. We’re not owned by a corporation and not affiliated with any orthopedic group. We treat everyone. It should always be about getting the best care.”
Del Valle Physical Therapy and Hand Therapy
2445 Missouri Avenue Suite A | 575-523-8080 | delvallept.com