How is it possible for these treatments to resolve pain and injuries so much faster than other healthcare practitioners I have seen in the past?
After injury, most people visit an orthopedic specialist or general practitioner. If the injury is not in need of surgery, the common plan of care involves medications as needed for pain, inflammation, and/or spasm; and referral to Physical Therapy. Though there is certainly a place for these medications, it is important to know that they are treating the symptoms and secondary results of the injury, Not the cause of the symptoms and inflammation. In traditional Physical Therapy, there is a large emphasis on modalities (ultrasound, electrical stimulation, heat/cold packs, etc) and exercises to help ‘set the stage’ for the body to heal the injured tissues, resolve excessive inflammation, and regain strength and range of motion. The focus is now more on the causes of pain and dysfunction, but still relies heavily on the body’s lengthy process of the healing itself. Something many do not know is that a primary cause of a person’s pain/dysfunction is actually the changes/distortions of the body’s connective tissues (called “Fascia”). With very specific, and fairly rare, hands-on manual therapy techniques, these Fascial distortions can be immediately moved back to a more normal position/arrangement. When this happens, the pain, weakness, and limited movement associated with an injury is also immediately improved. Pain from tendonitis and ligament sprains can usually be made At Least 50% better, and sometimes 100%, in the first treatment.
What is Fascia?
Fasia 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 details on Fascia, see my blog posts
And this article in Men’s Health
How long after an injury should I wait to get treatment?
In general, the longer you wait to get treatment, the longer it will take to fix the injury. Moving the tissues back into their pre-injury arrangement becomes harder the longer they have been in a distorted/injured state. Of course, newly injured tissues will be more sensitive to touch, but immediate treatment will help ensure a faster return to normal painfree activity.
Will I have to stop participating in my sport/exercise routine while I am getting treatment?
Occasionally this is a necessary move to allow for the most rapid and full recovery, but in my clinic it is very rare. I pride myself on getting my patients back to the activities they love extremely quickly and quite often that means I have them performing these activities by the end of the first visit. After all, we can’t say that you’re “fixed” until you can do the things you want without pain, right?
Do you only treat athletic injuries?
No. Although I am known for providing rapid recovery of injuries (which tends to be very popular among athletes), I have just as many patients who come to me with chronic pain and long-term issues. I treat any musculoskeletal condition from head to toe … from headaches to back pain, and TMJ to ankle sprains.
How many treatments will I need till I’m 100% again?
This is always a tricky question, because it varies with every patient, and is dependent on a large number of factors. What I can say is that, in general, you will usually need less than half as many treatments as you would expect to need when going to a more traditional PT clinic or Chiropractor. Pain and dysfunction that has been present for a long time will usually, but not always, take longer to fix than more recent/acute problems. Certain conditions like herniated disks will obviously take longer to resolve than something like a hamstring strain. In general, it is rare that I need more than 5-6 treatments for the average patient, and quite often 2-4 treatments are all that is needed. In an industry where 2-3 treatments/week for 1-2 months is the norm, that’s not bad.
Why is insurance not filed at Carter Physiotherapy?
Insurance is not filed because the Business Model necessary for an insurance-based PT practice does not support the Treatment Model that I follow. What the heck does that mean?? … Therapists in clinics that bill insurance have to see at least 2 patients per hour (usually much more) and use technicians to apply multiple modalities like ultrasound and e-stim. They must do this because insurance companies tend to reimburse these clinics only about half of what they bill. I do not believe that modalities are nearly as effective as my hands, and I also do not agree with having patients pay to perform exercises in the clinic that they can easily perform at home. In many ways, insurance companies dictate or at least influence the treatment that patients receive at these clinics, and I refuse to allow that to be the case at Carter Physiotherapy. Each of my patients receives an hour of one-on-one care and hands-on treatment, which is one reason the results are so much faster than average. When you consider the time savings of less trips to the clinic and the value of resolving your pain so much faster than normal, the out of pocket expense at Carter Physiotherapy is a huge bargain.
Can I bill my insurance for reimbursement of my out-of-pocket expenses?
This depends on the insurance you have, but YES, many patients at Carter Physiotherapy send self-claims to their insurance. You should be able to print claim forms off your insurance company’s website, and send it in with the needed receipts and treatment codes that will be provided upon request at the clinic. The amount of reimbursement (or application to deductible) is completely dependent on your insurance plan. If you are planning to do self-claims you should call your insurance company to inquire about details. Ask about reimbursement for “out-of-network Physical Therapy” expenses, and make sure there are no other requirements like a pre-authorization before you get started.
Why do I have to have a referral to receive treatment?
It is Texas State Law that Physical Therapy treatment cannot be performed without a referral from a licensed medical practitioner, which can be a variety professionals: MD, DO, DDS, DC, DPM, and Nurse Practitioners. This has nothing to do with Insurance rules or reimbursement … it has to do with Texas Law.