Dr. David De La Fuente was a junior in high school when he decided on his future; after his anatomy teacher introduced him to sports medicine “instantly I thought, ‘That’s what I want to do.’” Many years of schooling, hands on experiences and training under the best osteopaths in the world lead De La Fuente to his goal of earning his Doctorate Degree in Physical Therapy.
De La Fuente worked in several corporate-style physical therapy centers over the years before he launched Cornerstone Physical Therapy Health and Wellness Center in 2005. Originally located on Central Avenue for the first five years, Cornerstone’s office is now located at 77 Brant Avenue in Clark.
“This is a people-orientated and family orientated business,” said De La Fuente. This philosophy allows De La Fuente and his staff to remain committed to giving their patients the time they need, whether that means one on one session in the office or personalized homecare visits which De La Fuente is proud to offer as a special level of care.
Walking into the Cornerstone office is like walking into the home of a friend. Warm welcomes and smiles meet you at the door. One step into the therapy area reveals patients and therapist working together, chatting, discussing the day’s news or laughing and joking about something someone said or did. Cornerstone is a hometown business where everyone knows your name. “Our goal is to be open, and go above and beyond for patients. It’s all about the relationships,” said De La Fuente.
Make no mistake, there is hard work happening inside the walls of Cornerstone. Pain is usually the driving force that brings people to physical therapy. De La Fuente’s therapists are fluent in the arts of empathy and support. They know their patients are in pain or frustrated so therapists work hard to find the right modalities and methods to bring improvement. As hard as physical therapy can be, patients can feel comfortable and welcomed at Cornerstone.
. According to De La Fuente diagnostics are the key to getting patients on the path to healing and better mobility. Accepting almost all insurances, De La Fuente functions as a primary care provider in this specialty. He works to diagnose movement dysfunctions or impairments and evaluate patients to give them the best quality and continuity of care.
“Physical therapy relies on an intense sense of touch – I can feel what’s going on, whether it’s tight muscles or stiff joints. I am confident in my skills, things should present in a certain way.” With this hands on approach, De La Fuente has treated patients as young as three months and as old as 103. Time and dedication is what truly helps the patients at Cornerstone.
But it’s not just the friendly, accommodating, personal environment that sets Cornerstone apart; it’s also its quality of care. De La Fuente says, “I’ve seen cases other people won’t take because it’s very complicated.” But De La Fuente doesn’t shy away from any case. He’s dedicated to solving every patient’s pain. He says, “My wife says, ‘If I didn’t know you, I’d think you were a detective.”
One such mystery De La Fuente solved was a case of a woman who was struggling to walk. She needed homecare because her movement was so impaired that she couldn’t get to Cornerstone. When De La Fuente went to visit the patient, he knew instantly that something more significant than a slipped disc was going on. She was getting worse not better, so De La Fuente told her she needed to get to a hospital. It turned out she had a benign tumor on her spine that was pressing on her nerves.
The staff at Cornerstone isn’t afraid of tough cases. They have strong exercise science backgrounds and are confident in their manual therapy skills. For them, it’s not just about a quick fix – “People think therapy is heat, ultrasound, and exercise. But physical therapy is work, it takes time,” said De La Fuente.
Cornerstone Physical Therapy Health and Wellness Center is a distinctive practice that offers a range of services in addition to physical therapy. Available at the center are pediatric physical and occupational therapy, yoga, massage and even a medically-oriented gym membership, all to best serve the public. “I want to work with, teach, and educate the public,” De La Fuente says. For those in need of physical therapy, there are hardly comparable practices in the area, because Cornerstone is dedicated to helping its patients succeed in any way it can.
To learn more about Cornerstone Physical Health and Wellness Center visit their website or call 732-499-4540.