The walls of Scott Pensivy’s physical therapy office are bestrewn with jerseys and photos of famous athletes, each with an autograph and a thank-you message.
In his more than 30 years in the industry, Pensivy and his staff have treated star athletes such as Steph Curry, Shaquille O’Neal, Tiger Woods and Muhammad Ali, and celebrity entertainers such as Mariah Carey, Elton John and Olivia Newton-John.
“People ask me what it’s like treating these high-profile clients and I always say they’re just like everybody else,” Pensivy said. “They’re all really good people.”
Fyzical Therapy and Balance Centers, which was founded in 2012 with two clinics, has more than 300 clinics in 40 states and is considered the fastest-growing outpatient physical therapy company in the country, he said. Pensivy is CEO of the five locations in Southern Nevada after joining the company in 2015.
His location on South Jones Boulevard was formerly run by renowned physical therapist Keith Kleven, who worked on many star athletes but was mostly known for his work with Tiger Woods. Kleven was a mentor to Pensivy, and when he fell ill, Pensivy jumped at the opportunity to help.
“The opportunity to take over for a good friend is an honor,” Pensivy said. “His wife reached out to me about a year and a half ago and, at first, I tried to help in other ways—by sending staff over—but they needed me to come in.”
Pensivy retained some of Kleven’s staff to keep continuity, and has added to the quality equipment at the facility. One of the most innovative devices can be heard echoing throughout the building.
It’s called the Miracle Wave, and it’s a gun-shaped instrument that uses acoustic treatment by sending sound waves to jump-start a healing effect within the body without being invasive.
Pensivy learned of the machine being used in Germany, and a year and a half ago, got it approved for use in the U.S. When the machine was purchased, it cost upward of $200,000. Pensivy now has two of them after Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Troy Tulowitzki liked it so much he bought the clinic a second machine.
“It finds the inflammation in the scar tissue and blows it away,” Pensivy said. “The technology is similar to the way they deal with kidney stones.”
In his testimonial, Tulowitzki wrote, “You really helped my hip that bothered me since 2008. My leg finally feels a part of me! Thanks for getting me healthy.” And he’s not alone. Testimonials written on jerseys and photos are hung on every wall of the facility.
Pensivy said he often is sought by athletes reaching their breaking point. Many came to Pensivy in desperation, having nearly given up on recovery after failed attempts at diagnosis and healing from their team’s physical therapist.
Pensivy said many athletes believed their careers were over prior to treatment, and seeing them back on the court, field, rink or ring is the highlight of his profession. The memorabilia is an added bonus.
Pensivy had so much autographed memorabilia he ran out of space in his attic to keep it all. Then, he came up with a solution.
He started auctioning the memorabilia and created the Play it Forward Foundation. The nonprofit organization uses the proceeds from auctions to pay medical expenses for athletes between ages 8 and 24 who can’t afford it.
“It’s really awesome, and it can be surgery, physical therapy or even dental,” Pensivy said.
It’s just another way for him to do what drew him to the business of sports therapy: helping people. He found his love for the profession as a teenager when his mother was injured in an accident and fell into a coma for nine months.
“I would go in and watch them do physical therapy on her and take care of her,” Pensivy said. “I just saw how amazing it was and I started volunteering at hospitals and doing everything I could at a young age.”