Offering Advanced Sports Rehabilitation in Las Vegas and the Nation

Texas Rangers third baseman Joey Gallo with the Fyzical Sports team

Texas Rangers third baseman Joey Gallo with the Fyzical Sports team

By Joe Buda

Las Vegas Informer

Photos provided courtesy of Fyzical Sports

There is an old perception that permeates Las Vegas – the best place to go if you are sick is the airport.  While many illnesses may be covered better elsewhere, there are some specialties that are best taken care of in the Las Vegas Valley. One of those is sports rehabilitation. 

Scott Pensivy, PT, LAT, ATC, founder of S.P.O.R.T.S. (Scott Pensivy Orthopedic Rehabilitation Therapy Services) has brought cutting edge sports physical therapy and treatment to the Las Vegas Valley for several years. His treatment is known throughout the sports world and by professional athletes.  You often can see professional athletes from major sports teams fly into Las Vegas to get treatment or fly Pensivy to their destination for treatment.   

Some of the major athletes that have sought treatment from Pensivy include: Al Harrington (retired NBA), Ronnie Stanley (Notre Dame football), Paul Richardson (Seattle Seahawks), Joey Gallo (Texas Rangers), Chuck Liddell (retired UFC), Steven Zimmerman (Bishop Gorman and future UNLV basketball), Jack Nicklaus (PGA), Troy Tulowitzki (Colorado Rockies), Ben Carter (UNLV basketball), Shawn Oakman (Baylor football) and many more.

The Pensivy Method

Pensivy is best known for The Pensivy Method.  Pensivy came up with this after attending a Graston technique course several years ago. The Graston technique uses stainless steel tools to break up scar adhesions. The use of applicators to scrape the treated area of an injury has been around for 2000 years.  This is a power technique that has gone by many names such as Graston, Gui Sha and Tunia.

“They are pretty aggressive because the tools are steel and are somewhat pointed.” Pensivy recalled, “When I took the course, they would not allow other professionals, such as athletic trainers, massage therapists or personal trainers to take the course.  I felt this was a disservice to the general population, as I believed these professionals, if trained appropriately, could use this technique,” he stated.  So Pensivy created his own technique. 

UNLV basketball forward Ben Carter receives treatment from Scott Pensivy

UNLV basketball forward Ben Carter receives treatment from Scott Pensivy

Pensivy added a topical sports cream, Rehab1000, to this technique.  This was the first time that a chemical and a mechanical process were being used in this manner to enhance healing and he trademarked this system. 

Rehab1000, developed by Pensivy along with Longevity, works differently than other sports cream applications.  Topical sports creams, such as Ben-Gay and Flex all, work by being an irritant and making the patient feel heat in the affected area.

“When you feel the heat, you do not feel the pain,” Pensivy explained.  “Your body can only feel one sensation at a time, so it feels the heat. No more pain.  Is this really doing anything pathological?  Not directly. You may feel better, but on the cellular level it could be improved.” So Pensivy went further with his system. 

“What our system shows is that Rehab1000 helps heal the tissue. By using the applicator and the scraper it pushes the cream in further,” Pensivy added.  “Then it goes after the P-neuropeptides, which are neurotransmitters that create the pain. The capsaicin actually absorbs the neuropeptides and pain decreases.  Pain decreases and then you have increased range of motion and function causing increase in circulation, flexibility, etc.”   

Rehab1000 also contains the anti-inflammatory properties from the substances tourmaline and MSM.  “So what we are doing is we are taking hypoxic tissue and we are working on it, breaking up the scar tissue, which increases circulation and reduces pain.”

This works to take scar tissue, which has very thick components, and makes them become more elastic.  When scar forms, it forms in a very haphazard manner. By using this process, it breaks the scar adhesions and causes a more fashionable alignment, encouraging healing. 

Scott Pensivy & Notre Dame offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley

Scott Pensivy & Notre Dame offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley

The Pensivy Method can treat a multitude of conditions, which can include neck pain, chest pain, lumbar pain, carpal tunnel, lateral epicondylitis, shin splints, rotator cuff tendinitis, shoulder pain, plantar fasciitis, impingement syndrome, metatarsalgia, Achilles tendinitis and patellofemoral dysfunction. 

According to Pensivy, they have performed over 200,000 applications of this technique to date.  It is also one of the top sports creams in Korea, where it was created and developed seven years ago. 

Perhaps the best statistic regarding The Pensivy Method with Rehab1000 is over 250 professional athletes use it and endorse it and that number is growing daily. It is also used by over two dozen professional sports teams, along with over 30 universities and colleges in the training room.

Fyzical Sports

Pensivy recently received a new opportunity to bring better care to the athletes. Pensivy has partnered with Jim Abrams, creating Fyzical Sports.  Abrams has created the fastest outpatient physical therapy company in the U.S., named Fyzical.  There are 127 Fyzicals in 18 states and currently it is the fastest growing outpatient physical therapy company.

According to Pensivy, he and Abrams have combined their efforts to offer the patient and athlete the best care possible for their injuries or balance problems. 

When visiting Fyzical Sports, the patient is treated by a team which includes physical therapists, massage therapists, athletic trainers, personal trainers, nutritionists, skill coaches and medical FST (fascial stretching technique) specialists under one roof.  There are two reasons for this. One, it gives better care, more complete care.  Two, the patient is always moving and busy. There is no sitting around waiting for the next person.  “We call it organized and consistent motion.” 

Fyzical Sports location at Athletic Gaines

Fyzical Sports location at Athletic Gaines

After partnering with Abrams, Pensivy started to study the correlation between cerebral and vestibular concussions and lower extremity injuries.   “We started to prove the correlation,” Pensivy stated.   “We had 10 NBA players come here and get tested. They all passed musculoskeletal evaluations, such as running, jumping, jogging and cutting under specific guidelines.  They were videotaped and in slow motion were watched to look and evaluate for deficits. They all passed the musculoskeletal evaluation, but then the players were evaluated on the neuro com system, a machine and device that measures balance and the vestibular system, to see if their inner ear communicated with their legs appropriately.” 

All of them failed, Pensivy recalled. The score ranged from 33 to 60 percent of norms from a lay person, not even a pro athlete, as the data for a pro athlete is still being collected.

“These are pro athletes,” Pensivy stated. “They should be 100 percent or more.”

One professional athlete who scored high on the neuro com system was Buffalo Bill cornerback Ron Brooks, who scored 293 percent above norms.  Pensivy relates this to his constant flipping of his body, being able to do back handsprings, flips, etc., which stimulates the vestibular system and retrains it.  

The neuro com is one of the advanced pieces of equipment that Fyzical Sports owns.  There are only approximately 300 neuro coms in the United States and Pensivy has five of them in the Fyzical family in Las Vegas.  Fyzical Balance and Fyzical Sports have come together to allow not only patients of non-athletic performance, but athletic performance to be evaluated at a higher level. 

Another advanced piece of equipment that Fyzical Sports has, which enticed Pensivy to join Fyzical, was the Epley Omniax chair. This chair helps treat vestibular or dizzy problems, as well as other disorders, as it works to align the calcium crystals found in the inner ear, which can cause these vestibular disorders. This chair was designed by NASA.  There are only 12 Omniax chairs in the world and Las Vegas has three of them.  Two are located at the Fyzical Balance Center associated with Fyzical Sports and one is found in the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health.

Baylor defensive end Shawn Oakman received treatment from Scott Pensivy

Baylor defensive end Shawn Oakman received treatment from Scott Pensivy

Fyzical Sports also owns a Miracle Wave device that was given to him by a pro athlete. The device’s estimated cost is $200,000.  The device was just approved by FDA for human treatment and has a wide variety of uses for soft tissue injuries. This device helps with muscular spasms, Tendonosis, tendonitis, over stimulated sarcomere contractures of the muscle causing an inefficient muscle contraction.  

The Miracle Wave uses acoustic waves break up these sarcomere contractions and spasms causing an increase in circulation, decreasing pain, increasing range of motion, strength and endurance, along with function.  The device / modality can penetrate up to six inches into the soft tissue area of the body. Pensivy was sending all his top pros with Tendonosis problems to Germany for the technique and treatment as it was not approved in the US and was getting great outcomes.

It is seen as an efficient and effective way. After one to three visits most of the time the condition is resolved. 

Pensivy was approached by Travelle Gaines, sponsored by Nike, several months ago to create a professional athletic training performance center in the Vegas valley.  Gaines was the founder of Athletic Gaines and needed a top sports rehabilitation specialist to be the key to grow this opportunity.  Gaines is the top NFL trainer of over 150 players and won the ESPN Emmy award for best trainer in 2014.

“Nike is huge here in Las Vegas,” Pensivy explained.  “They have Findlay Prep, Bishop Gorman.  Both of those are nationally ranked teams and they (Nike) needed more exposure.” 

“They said we really needed sports training here,” Pensivy recalled.  They wanted Gaines to start the performance center and he reached out to Mr. Pensivy.

The relationship works well, according to Pensivy, because the two companies offer services that complement each other. 

“The things I see with patients here is that I can get them to a certain level in my practice,” Pensivy stated.   “But then I’m able to give them to a trainer to allow them to perform at a higher level to reach their professional goals. He (Gaines) can allow them to go beyond what I can in a performance level and be more individualized with his expertise in personal training.”

Working with Abrams and Gaines, Pensivy was able to create the environment where the athlete could train, treat, compete, restore and repeat, a trademark motto Pensivy came up with. According to Pensivy, this is the best training and medical care in the West.  It can look at several areas, which include musculoskeletal screening, performance screening, skills screening and vestibular / concussion screening. 

The athlete’s interest is the only interest, Pensivy explained. 

For more information and athlete testimonies, please visit sportstherapylv.com or

thepensivymethod.com.

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