After years of successfully treating numerous patients, we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help answer any questions you might have.
If you can’t find the answer to your question(s) on this page, please don’t hesitate to contact us directly through email at Dr.Q@PerspectivePT.com or call us at (512) 632-2447. If you need an answer outside of our normal business hours, schedule a free phone consultation to discuss the pain/injury affecting your life with a Doctor of Physical Therapy from our team.
What injuries, syndromes, and body parts can Perspective Physical Therapy help me recover from?
Pain and injuries associated with muscles, joints, and nerves have been successfully treated at Perspective Physical Therapy.
Our patients have recovered from everything including headaches and jaw dysfunction, to ankle sprains and knee pain. We see a lot of patients with hip and low back pain and often treat elbow tendonitis and rotator cuff tears. We have a lot of experience treating wrist and hand pain and have a special interest in treating the spine.
If your pain comes from muscles, joints, and/or nerves, we can help if surgery isn’t required. Note: Some of our patients have been told they needed surgery, but their pain resolved with our treatments and were able to cancel their scheduled surgery.
We are honored to work with our patients who are typically active and highly motivated to move, take the initiative towards injury prevention, and want to be able to perform at their best. Exercise and sports performance are extremely important for them and they highly value their time.
If pain or injuries are keeping them from being active and staying fit, they seek out the highest quality, 1-on-1 care, with professionals that take the time to listen and understand them. Often, they are unable to miss work 2-3 times per week for months at a time because of their busy schedules.
Our treatments only work with the cooperation from our amazing patients. If we find that we are a good fit for each other, we become a team. We then work together to help you accomplish the goals you set for yourself; whether it be to become pain free or to improve your athletic performance. Teamwork makes the dream work.
I’ve seen other healthcare practitioners for my pain and injuries, but my condition(s) did not improve. How is it possible that Perspective Physical Therapy can provide a better solution in fewer visits?
After experiencing an injury, most people will see a physician. If the injury doesn’t require surgery, they will commonly be prescribed medication(s) to reduce pain, inflammation, and/or muscle spasms followed by a referral to Physical Therapy.
While there is a time and place for these medications, it is important to understand that these medications only address the symptoms associated with your injury (i.e. what you feel regarding pain, swelling, muscle tightness). These medications will NOT treat the cause of your symptoms.
Imagine being on a sinking boat where water is quickly flooding the inside of the boat. Medication(s) would be equivalent to scooping out the water, but what really needs to be addressed is the hole in the boat that’s allowing the water to get in!
Physical Therapy can be used to plug the hole in the boat. However, with traditional Physical Therapy there is a heavy emphasis on using modalities such as heat packs, ice packs, electrical stimulation, and ultrasound. Unfortunately, research shows that these modalities won’t provide long-term relief. Using these outdated modalities, often seen in the traditional setting, is just another way of scooping out water on a sinking boat.
So how do you plug the hole in the boat? The answer lies in what’s newly considered the largest organ in the human body – Fascia. Fascia is a connective tissue that runs from head to toe, connects to all organs, and very commonly causes a person’s dysfunction. With skilled application of hands-on manual therapy techniques, these soft tissue injuries can be guided back to an optimal position. When an optimal arrangement of the soft tissue structures is restored, pain, weakness, and movement limitations associated with an injury can improve immediately.
Many factors including time span from the original injury, age, and other underlying causes of pain can affect how quickly a patient responds to treatment. However, using our treatment methods to directly influence the fascial system usually resolves pain and injuries much faster than other clinics that don’t understand and treat fascia.
With our fascia-focused manual therapy techniques and functional exercises, combined with full hour 1-on-1 treatment sessions, our patients normally recover in far fewer visits than they would at many other physical therapy clinics.
What is Fascia?
Fascia is “the soft tissue component of the connective tissue system that permeates the human body. It interpenetrates and surrounds muscles, bones, organs, nerves, blood vessels and other structures. Fascia is an uninterrupted, three-dimensional web of tissue that extends from head to toe, from front to back, from interior to exterior… After injury, it is the fascia that creates an environment for tissue repair.”
– Paoletti, Serge (2006). The Fasciae: Anatomy, Dysfunction & Treatment. Seattle, WA: Eastland Press. pp. 151–161.
For more insights on Fascia, click here to read more about it on my blog
If I have just sustained an injury, how long should I wait before getting treated?
As soon as possible! Generally the longer you delay getting treated, the longer it will take to rehab the injury. And the longer an injury stays in a distorted and injured state, the harder it is to move the fascial tissues back to its pre-injury condition.
Also, you will likely lose strength after sustaining an injury which can induce harmful “movement compensations.” These compensations can cause injuries to other areas of your body further hampering your ability to return to doing the activities you enjoy.
It is in your best interest to get treated early if you want to get back to 100% in as few sessions as possible. That being said, we have successfully treated many patients who had been coping with pain for years. These patients were still able to make significant improvements with their conditions after being treated at Perspective Physical Therapy.
Will I have to stop exercising or participating in my sport(s) while getting treated for my injury?
Sometimes complete rest is warranted, but usually it is possible to still exercise and participate in your sport(s) at a lower intensity while we treat your injury. There are a lot of factors to consider, but with our guidance you can make an informed decision on what activities you should and should not do.
Furthermore, we take great pride in getting our patients back to doing the activities they love as quickly and safely as possible. In order to do this, it is absolutely necessary to incorporate movements and stress demands required by the activity or sport you’re trying to get back to. In doing so, we can evaluate and modify your treatment to ensure you make a full recovery.
How many treatment sessions will it take to get me back to 100% again?
Unfortunately there is not a straight-forward answer to this question. Every patient is unique and each patient's recovery is different. There are many factors that affect how a patient will respond to treatment (i.e. length of injury, age, nutrition, stress, etc). What we can say with confidence is that because of our approach to rehabilitation and treatment, you will usually get better in much less visits at Perspective Physical Therapy than you would going to a different healthcare practitioner.
The longer someone has been dealing with pain and dysfunction, the more time it will take to recover (but not always). And the more recent or acute an injury is, the less time it will take to recover. Different conditions also determine how long it may take to recover; herniated discs of the spine and frozen shoulders take much longer to recover from than something like an ankle sprain. Although nagging conditions like plantar fasciitis and tennis elbow can occasionally be fixed in just a few sessions, they are more likely going to need multiple treatments for longer periods of time.
On average, it is rare that we need more than 6-8 treatments for the typical patient, and oftentimes our patients are able to recover in just 2-5 treatments. When compared to traditional “in-network” physical therapy clinics where patients are seen 2-3 times per week for 1-2 months, our results are quite good. But to reiterate, factors such as length/severity of injury, age, nutrition, stress, and other underlying health issues can sometimes make the road to recovering 100% a more lengthy process.
It is impossible for us to give you an estimate of how long it will take to help fix your injury without meeting you and evaluating your condition in person. If you are unsure or not yet ready to commit to an Initial Evaluation, please take advantage of our Free Consultation. Though we will be unable to give you a full in-depth assessment, we should be able to obtain enough information to give you a rough estimate for how long it will take to rehab your injury/pain.
Why doesn’t Perspective Physical Therapy bill insurance? And how does it save me money?!
Insurance companies have a strong influence on patient care at “in-network” clinics. Although they do not have any interaction with patients in the clinical setting, many times they dictate reimbursement rates and limit the number of visits a patient is allowed. Unfortunately this can many times lead to a lack of quality in patient care. We refuse for this to take place at Perspective Physical Therapy.
We are an “out-of-network” practice because it allows us to give the highest-level care we insist our patients deserve. Due to worsening reimbursement rates, and added pressure from insurance companies, therapists at in-network clinics MUST see at least 2 patients per hour (typically it’s 3-4 patients per hour!) and they often use aides and assistants to provide much of the actual patient care.
Imagine going to a physical therapy clinic where your physical therapist juggles between 4 patients. If the time is split evenly between all 4 patients, you can only see the physical therapist for 15 minutes out of the entire hour! Then, you’re off on your own doing exercises you could be doing at home with little guidance. Or worse, you’re hooked up to modalities such as ice packs and ultrasound without any supervision. Add to this a requirement to go 2-3 times per week, and we have an equation for a very unhappy patient who not only isn’t able to get back to doing the activities they want to, but also spends a fortune going through this process. This is sadly a common story we hear from our patients who have tried physical therapy at in-network clinics with limited results.
We believe that our hands-on treatment approach is far more effective than any modality, and we find it immoral to have patients pay to perform exercises in the clinic that they could easily be doing on their own at home or in a gym.
Every single one of our patients receives hands-on, 1-on-1 care, from a Doctor of Physical Therapy during each treatment session. Usually we see patients for a full hour unless they request to only be seen for 30 minutes. With this focused 1-on-1 treatment approach, we are able to see many of our patients as little as one time per week while achieving positive results.
When you consider the savings you make in time and money by making fewer appointments, and the value of resolving your pain in less treatment sessions, the out-of-pocket expense you pay at Perspective Physical Therapy is a significant bargain.
In addition, the out-of-pocket expense for our treatment sessions are sometimes less than what you would pay at an in-network clinic that accepts and bills your insurance. How is this possible?
As deductibles and physical therapy copays continue to skyrocket, many of our patients who have high PT copays or have not met their deductible pay less out-of-pocket for our treatments than they would if they went to a clinic that “takes their insurance.”
So before choosing where to get physical therapy, please make sure you know how much you’ll be paying at an in-network clinic that “takes your insurance” compared to an out-of-network clinic like ours… The quality of your care depends on it!
Some insurance plans provide ZERO coverage for physical therapy services which means you will be paying out-of-pocket for all of your PT sessions. Other insurance plans require copays of over $50 per visit, and if you haven’t met your deductible you will be paying the full remainder of the bill until your deductible is met (and these bills are often over $200 per visit!). If you are going to physical therapy 2-3 times per week for 6-8 weeks, this bill can reach $2,400 to $4,800+ (which YOU would be expected to pay if your deductible hasn’t been met).
Now they would never tell you this upfront. Often patients go through a plan of care and it isn’t until after 6-8 weeks that they start receiving those massive bills at $200+ per visit. It gets worse… just because you’re paying $200+ per visit at an in-network clinic, it does NOT mean that your insurance is applying that full amount towards your deductible! Often they apply an “agreed upon amount” that they consider reasonable for your PT sessions, and usually this is much less than the amount charged by the PT clinic.
Insurance companies do everything they can to pay out as little as possible and maximize their profits, and keeping consumers ignorant is part of the game.
So as you decide on your options for physical therapy, make sure you find the answers to the following…
Questions for your insurance company:
Until I meet my deductible, what can I expect to pay for each Physical Therapy session at an in-network PT clinic? They might only be able to give a percentage, but many times PT clinics are billing over $200 per session. Make sure you find this answer before asking the first question in the next section (Questions for PT clinics).
How much of my deductible is left that I have to meet?
If I have met my deductible, how much will my copay be?
What can I expect in reimbursement if I get physical therapy from an out-of-network provider and send in self-claims? (FYI: insurance companies' customer service agents are instructed to discourage people from going to clinics that are not in-network! So be very clear that you want to know what your out-of-network benefits are.)
In most cases, you will be paying the ENTIRE bill until your deductible has been met.
Questions for PT clinics:
What is the average dollar amount sent to an insurance company for the physical therapy bill? (Make sure to clarify that you want to know what the PT clinic charges the insurance company, NOT what the insurance company has agreed to pay the clinic.) If you have not met your deductible, you would be expected to pay the full amount billed to the insurance company.
On average, how many patients do the physical therapists treat per hour? Are only physical therapists providing treatment, or are assistants and aides/techs used?
How much 1-on-1 time will I get with my physical therapist each session? How much of that time will be hands-on treatment?
On average, how many times per week do patients come in for treatment?
Consider the quality of care you’ll be receiving. Ask yourself, “How much do I value receiving higher-quality, 1-on-1 care from a Doctor of Physical Therapy rather than a PT Assistant (PTA) or an unskilled tech/aide?”
Also think about how often you’ll be missing work, time with family, and time with friends to attend your PT sessions. Again, you can always ask any PT clinic how many times patients come in for treatment per week.
After finding the answers to the questions above, and figuring out the financial calculations, you might be surprised with what you find.
*One last thing to consider is whether or not you have 2 separate in-network or out-of-network deductibles. If you have 2 different deductibles, then sending in claims from an out-of-network provider like ours will NOT apply towards your in-network deductible.*
Once you find the above information, you can get a real sense of the true cost of your physical therapy care. But more important than cost, figure out what level of care you’ll be getting. Make sure that whichever place you ultimately decide to go to for physical therapy will get you back to doing the things that you love.
Click here to download a worksheet with the above questions to help you make the best decision on where to go for physical therapy.
What is a self-claim? How does it help me with reimbursement?
Upon request, we will provide you a Superbill that has the necessary information for you to seek reimbursement if you choose to do so. A “self-claim” is the act of you sending the Superbill to your insurance company. Your insurance plan determines the amount of reimbursement or amount applied to your deductible. If you call your insurance company, make sure to ask about reimbursement for “Out-of-Network Physical Therapy” to see how much they will cover if you send in self-claims.
If you have Medicare:
Since we do NOT have a business relationship with Medicare, we can only work with Medicare patients who do NOT want Medicare involved with PT services. Patients must - with their own free will - specifically request that they do not want Medicare involved with payment.
So if you are a Medicare beneficiary, and you really want us to work with you, you must be very clear that you don’t want Medicare involved. You must clearly state upon arrival that you do NOT want Medicare to be billed or be part of your physical therapy care.
If you DO want to use your Medicare benefits for physical therapy, we unfortunately will NOT be able to provide you treatment at our clinic. However, we will gladly refer you to a good Medicare provider.