With physical therapy, athletic training, concussion services and wellness and fitness classes in one place, Mercy Regional Medical Center's new space in the Centennial Center in Durango is expected to be a hub for sports medicine.
Mercy Sports Medicine opened a few weeks ago in a 7,000-square-foot space formerly occupied by Purgatory Resort.
Mercy Integrated Physical Therapy moved into the space and closed its office in Horse Gulch, Mercy's Rehabilitation Manager Luke Angel said.
The physical therapists will work with athletic trainers, massage therapists and others at the new space to help patients recover after an injury, Angel said.
Sometimes, physical therapists have to stop working with patients because their insurance runs out, in which case patients may turn to a personal trainer to help with their recovery, he said.
At Mercy Sports Medicine, physical therapists will work closely with athletic trainers and wellness coaches on how to help patients finish recovering.
The help from trainers and wellness coaches can help ensure patients don't reinjure themselves, he said.
"That piece has been really missing in Durango as far as what's been available," Angel said.
Some services aimed at complementing physical therapy, such as personal trainers, likely wouldn't be covered by insurance. But he expects personal training rates will be comparable to others in the area.
As part of opening the facility, Mercy purchased $200,000 in new equipment, including the AlterG, an anti-gravity treadmill that allows patients to walk or run without pain.
"Whenever you have pain, you compensate; you use the wrong muscles to do the same task in order to avoid the pain. So you get into these faulty movement patterns that physical therapists need to break to get you back to normal," Angel said.
The treadmill can help physical therapists correct a patient's gait and break the pain cycle, he said.
The center houses seven treatment rooms, two gyms and offices; it will employ about 15 people when fully staffed.
Mercy Regional Medical Center has offered some exercise classes open to the general public, but those will be expanded at the new space and include classes such as yoga, core fitness and high-intensity training.
Mercy plans to maintain its two other physical therapy locations in town, one on north Main Avenue and the other at the hospital's campus in Three Springs, Angel said.