Everything You Need to Know About Traditional Physical Therapy and Concierge Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is an old practice that can provide life changing relief to patients, but many people don’t know that. Physical therapy has gotten a bad reputation over the years because of older methods including ultrasounds, hot packs and ice pack usage. Some people think that physical therapy doesn’t create change in people’s lives, or that they have to go to a traditional physical therapy clinic in order to receive care.

That couldn’t be more far from the truth. Physical therapy is an evolving science that has made great strides over the last few decades. Now you don’t have to go to the hospital, or even have insurance, to receive physical therapy treatment.

For example, I personally work part time at a concierge clinic where we do not accept insurance because I want to dictate the plan of care for my patients. In some traditional settings, patient’s insurance will only cover a certain number of visits. But in most cases, the number of visits needed in order to achieve peak function is more than is covered. Every individual is different and needs direct individualized care! 

The physical therapy industry should move away from only seeing patients when they are “injured” and promote wellness screenings throughout the year to ensure people are not at risk for any potential injury. A physical therapist isn’t just for you if you pull muscle, but someone that you can visit when you feel healthy in order to incorrect improper movements and avoid injuries. Physical therapists can conduct walking and running analysis, posture assessments and even ergonomic set ups in the work place.

What is traditional physical therapy?

Physical therapy is the treatment of disease, injury, or deformity by physical methods. These physical methods include massage, heat treatment and exercise. Physical therapy can only be provided by licensed physical therapists. Physical therapy is offered in a variety of settings, including: hospitals, nursing homes, private practices and outpatient clinics.

I’ve noticed that many physical therapy practices are starting to transition to overall health, wellness and performance based practices because physical therapists can provide so much more than correct exercises. Physical therapists are movement experts and as such we should be picking apart every piece of how a person moves to either correct, maintain or balance out forces to optimize movement.

How much does physical therapy cost?

Traditional physical therapy clinics can require one to three appointments per week, for four to six weeks. Most copays range from appointments costing between $20 and $70 per visit.

What to wear to physical therapy

Physical therapy typically involves movement, massage and light stretching. I recommend that you wear comfortable athletic clothing that you can easily move around in.

What is the point of physical therapy?

The goal of any physical therapist is to put patients back in the driver’s seat of their lives and their goals. The goal of treatment is to ensure that a patient’s quality of life increases tremendously following treatment. Not only do physical therapists treat patients that have an injury or dysfunction, we also create strength and performance programs for patients. These plans are personalized to each patient with their goals in mind and keeping our “eye” on body mechanics and optimal alignments throughout joints. 

Who should see a physical therapist?

Anyone should see a skilled physical therapist to optimize their quality of movement throughout the lifespan. Physical therapists can evaluate and treat: headaches, muscle pain, join pain, back pain, tightness in movement, instability issues, balance issues, TMJ, return to sport, walking/running analysis, pre/post partum, women’s health/men’s health, cancer treatments, post op/pre op and everything in between.

What is concierge physical therapy?

Concierge physical therapy is different than the traditional clinic one might have experienced in the past. In a traditional a patient will come in for an evaluation to address their main concern, run their insurance, pay a copay and any part of deductible, co-insurance which sometimes is misleading and not always clear for the patient what they are paying. A skilled DPT will evaluate, complete a small amount of any manual therapy needed and send patient to a PT technician (usually a person that is planning to apply to PT/PTA school).  Typically a PT can see anywhere from 12-25 patients in a day or 2-4 patients an hour! No wonder the burn out rate for PT’s is so high.

What is the difference between concierge physical therapy and traditional physical therapy?

In traditional physical therapy, a patient will come in for an evaluation to address their main concern, run their insurance, pay a copay and any part of deductible. A skilled physical therapist will evaluate the patient, complete a small amount of any manual therapy needed and send patient to a physical therapy technician. Typically a PT can see anywhere from 12-25 patients in a day or two to four patients an hour.

Concierge physical therapy follows a similar procedure, except they bill the patient directly – not the insurance company. Concierge physical therapy practices also typically take a more fitness-forward and patient-focused approach. Concierge physical therapy is one-to-one practice with the patient, for around 60 to 75 minutes. Instead of being passed off to a physical therapy technician, the physical therapist will spend the entire appointment with you.

How much does concierge physical therapy cost?

Typically concierge visits can range anywhere from $125 to $200 per session. The goal of our clinic specifically is to see patients usually once a week and provide as much manual treatment as the individual needs, in addition to providing intensive corrective exercise training.

This model allows physical therapists to provide one-on-one, high quality care in each session, so they don’t typically see patients for the same frequency as traditional clinics do. In the end, the costs of traditional physical therapy and concierge physical therapy is typically the same per month.

Kayleigh Coffman, a native from Bozeman, MT was brought to the sunny state of Arizona for PT school where she graduated from AT Still University in Mesa, AZ in 2019. Since then she has practiced in multiple settings including skilled nursing facilities, acute care, LTACH, and home health while finding what route God had in store for her. She was introduced to the team at Launch through the “Uncaged Clinicians” FB group in January 2020. Kayleigh and Dr. Dave (Launch owner and founder) hit it off right off the bat and immediately started planning a mentorship program for Kayleigh to join the team part-time to assist in patient care for Dr. Dave and Dr. Jocelyn. Kayleigh has a passion for lifting and endurance training and specifically feels called to assist in the lifelong journey for patients just starting their health and wellness journey to improve their longevity through nutrition and physical exercise. Kayleigh brings such an energy to the team that compliments the other members of the Launch team- she wants to be a “motivation station” for all her patients to achieve their physical and personal goals throughout life! When Kayleigh isn’t at the office you can catch her working out at Suffer City of Gilbert, AZ, laying at the pool, or enjoying a delicious meal on the town.

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