Frequently Asked Questions
The majority of our patients are highly active and highly motivated to move, look, and perform their best. Exercise / sport are very important to them, and they also place a high value on their time.
When they have an injury or pain that is keeping them from staying fit and performing well, they want the highest quality, one-on-one care and usually don’t have the time to go to a clinic 2-3 times a week for 2 months; and they certainly don’t appreciate being asked to do things in the clinic that they could easily do on their own time (like stretches and exercises).
So that’s a little bit about our patients. Here’s a little about what we treat at Vitality.
We treat the vast majority of pain/injuries of the muscles, joints, and nerves throughout the body.
Chances are that if your pain/limitation is due to a muscle, joint, or nerve, and doesn’t require surgery, we can help (and we’ve had plenty of patients who thought they may need surgery but their pain was resolved with our treatments). That includes neck, spine, low back, shoulder, hip, knee, ankle, foot, and all the muscles and tissues in between.
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.
The speed of recovery and response to any treatment is influenced by a large number of factors including age, length of time since the original injury, and any underlying causes of the pain.
At Vitality, we work to identify exactly what the root cause is. We then spend all of our 1 hour sessions attacking that root issue which typically allows our patients to require fewer total visits to get back to what they love.
In general, the longer you wait to get treatment, the longer it will take to fix the injury and get you back to 100%. Moving the tissues back into their pre-injury arrangement becomes harder the longer they have been in a distorted/injured state.
Additionally, the longer an injury has been present, movement “compensations” will develop that can lead to injury in other areas.
So it’s important to get treatment as soon as possible after injury if you want to get better with the fewest possible sessions. With all that said, we have plenty of patients at Vitality who have been dealing with their pain for decades, and we are still able to significantly improve their condition.
Occasionally, complete rest from a painful activity is necessary to allow for the most rapid and full recovery, but it is often possible to continue your sport/exercise to some degree while we are treating your injury. It really depends on a lot of factors and is ultimately your choice.
Our first thought is always activity modification. How can we help you perform your desired activities, but in a way that doesn’t slow the healing process.
We pride ourselves on getting our patients back to the activities they love as soon as possible, and though full rest is occasionally necessary, we usually have them performing these activities throughout their care. After all, we can’t say that you’re “fixed” until you can do the things you want without pain, right?
This is always a tricky question, because it varies with every patient and is dependent on a large number of factors. What we can say is that because you are getting one on one individualized care for the entire hour, you will usually need far fewer treatments at Vitality Therapy and Performance than you might need elsewhere.
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 spinal disks and frozen shoulders will take longer to resolve than something like an ankle sprain. And though notoriously ‘stubborn’ conditions like tennis elbow and plantar fasciitis can sometimes be fixed in just a few treatments, conditions like these also have a tendency to need multiple treatments.
In general, 5-7 treatments may be all that is required. In an industry where 2-3 treatments/week for 1-2 months is the norm, that’s quite good. But again, factors like age, severity of injury, other health issues, and how long you’ve been in pain can occasionally make the path to 100% somewhat lengthy.
Without performing a full in depth evaluation, it’s hard to say exactly how long it will take. Contact us today so we can talk about a game plan to get you back to doing what you love.
Why is insurance not billed at Vitality Therapy and Performance? And did you say that can actually save me money?
In many ways, insurance companies dictate, or strongly influence, the treatment that patients receive at “in-network” clinics, and we refuse to allow that to be the case at Vitality Therapy and Performance.
While we do not bill your insurance company, you can still submit an “Out of Network” claim to your health insurance carrier on your own. We are considered an out-of-network practice because we do not keep a contract with any health insurance companies.
Due to progressively worsening reimbursement rates and pressure from insurance companies, the therapists at in-network clinics have to see at least 2 patients per hour (usually more), and they often use technicians and assistance to provide much of the actual patient care. This results in less high-level professional focus on the patient, and often causes an increase in the number of weekly appointments needed to promote healing.
All of our patients receive one-on-one care and hands-on treatment from a Doctor of Physical Therapy in every session. With our one-on-one treatment approach, the plan of care for the vast majority of our patients only involves one appointment per week.
On top of that, the out-of-pocket expense for our treatment sessions is sometimes less than a patient would pay at a clinic that accepts and bills their insurance.
How is that possible?
As deductibles and PT copays have skyrocketed in recent years, 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 deciding on where to get PT based solely on which clinics “take your insurance,” make sure you know how much you’ll be paying at your in-network options versus an out-of-network clinic like ours.
Some insurance plans provide zero coverage for PT visits or require copays of over $50/visit. And if you have a deductible to meet, you’ll likely end up paying the full bill for your PT sessions until you meet the deductible (and these bills are often $200+ per session). However, you usually won’t start receiving those $200+ bills until after you’ve been getting care for 6-8 weeks and have racked up an enormous total balance (again, often being asked to attend PT 2-3 times per week).
And guess what else… just because you’re paying $200+ per session at a clinic that is in-network with your insurance, does not mean that your insurance is applying that full amount towards your deductible! They often only apply the amount that they have agreed is reasonable for your PT sessions which is, of course, far less than the amount the PT clinic actually charges.
Most people are quite unaware of the mechanics involved in health insurance contracts and pressure from stockholders to maximize their profits.
In Oklahoma, you do not need a referral from another provider unless treatment extends beyond 30 days. This is great because that means we can get started right away.