4411 Medical Parkway | Austin, TX 78756
(512) 328-8950


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Ice or Heat?

Immediately after an injury:

  • Apply an ice pack for 15 to 20 minutes every hour or as long as swelling and/or skin temperature is elevated.
  • Try an ice massage by rubbing ice directly over the injured area for 3-7 minutes. (Tip: freeze water in a paper cup. Once frozen, peel down the top and apply it to the injured area, holding it from the bottom.)

After the first 48 hours:

  • Use a contrast bath by submerging the injured area starting in icy cold water for 30 seconds followed by switching to hot water for 1 minute. Repeat this procedure for 15 minutes and end in cold water.

After 72 hours:

  • Assuming the injury is being rested and not re-traumatized; submerge the injured area starting in hot water for 1 minute followed by cold water for 30 seconds; heat 1 minute and cold 30 seconds; continue for 15 minutes ending in hot water.

After 1-week post injury:

  • If swelling continues to persist without elevated skin temperature use hot water only for 15 minutes with movement of the injured area.
  • If at any time the area is re-injured, begin again with icing.

If you are injured…

Step 1: Follow the schedule outlined in our document for using ice or heat.

Step 2: Schedule a physical therapy evaluation to determine the underlying cause of your injury.

Step 3: Rehabilitate your injury rather than adapting around it.

Step 4: Return to doing what you love pain free.

Five Common Knee Injuries and What to do About Them

Far too often our love of running is impaired by knee pain. Interestingly enough it is not always the knee itself that is responsible for this discomfort. Take a look and see if any of the following apply to you. 1. I have pain when I start running that goes away once I warm up: This a common symptom of tendonitis.

  • The secret to healing a tendon is doing exercise that requires low resistance and high repetitions. Cycling is one example of this. Make sure your seat is not too low or positioned too far forward or this will further injure your tendon.
  • Stretching and massage of the involved muscle and tendon can also provide relief and facilitate healing.
  • You can also alternate ice and heat, which is very effective! Ice for 1 minute and heat for 2 min for a total of 15 minutes.

2. I often have pain while running, especially up hills, but also with climbing stairs and squatting. This classically occurs with a problem with biomechanics. A very common biomechanics issue is over pronation of the foot and ankle affecting the knee.

  • If your foot excessively pronates, your foot will roll inward and your arch will drop. If your foot pronates when you run it causes your knee to turn in. This puts tremendous strain on your knee joint, ligaments and tendons as well as your foot and ankle.
  • Luckily, excessive pronation can be addressed with orthotics.
  • Orthotics are custom made shoe inserts that stabilize and realign your foot, which allow your knees, hips, pelvis and spine to function with proper alignment.
  • At New Dimensions Physical Therapy we make orthotics by assessing the following: your running mechanics, your foot, leg and pelvis alignment, and your degree of muscle control.
  • Wearing orthotics can take tremendous stress off of your knees.

3. I usually don’t hurt while I am running but my knee aches after I am done. My knee also hurts if I sit for a long time. These are common signs of arthritis.

  • The secret here is that the more gentle movement you can do during the day—the better. Cross training with swimming or water exercise is a wonderful option for you. If takes the load off your joint while allowing you to move and strengthen your knee.
  • As far as running goes you will get more mileage out of an arthritic knee with interval training. This means interspersing walking with running. If you do this you will be surprised how much farther you will go.
  • Using an elastic sleeve on your knee on cold days often helps too.

4. Sometimes my knee actually locks on me and I can’t straighten or bend it: This can actually be due to a meniscus tear.

  • Your meniscus is a piece of cartilage within your joint. Left untreated, this tear can wear down your joint prematurely and cause increased pain. Unfortunately the treatment for this is often surgery. If you think your meniscus may be torn, go see an orthopedist for a detailed evaluation of your knee.
  • Mensicus tears can be caused by a traumatic event. But if it happened gradually over time then it may be due to stress from faulty alignment. If the latter is the case then you would benefit from a physical therapy evaluation.

5. I often get a sharp pain on the outside of my knee when I run. The structure that is responsible for your pain is your Ilio-tibial (I-T) Band.

  • This fascial band begins at your hip and runs down the outside of your leg to your knee.
  • We get excellent results with our patients by doing soft tissue mobilization (a specific type of massage) to their I-T bands, hips and pelvis in combination with a doing strengthening and stretching exercises.
  • We see that the I-T Band becomes very tight and painful when your glutuals and lower abdominals are weak. Here are two strategies to get started on this problem:

Knee Injury ExerciseHip Lifts (3 x 10 reps)

1. Lie on back with knees bent, arms by side palms up.

2. Find pelvic neutral and hold this position throughout exercise

3. Squeeze buttocks and lift hips as high as possible off the ground, beginning with your tail bone

4. Keep belly button lower than your tail bone and knees hip width apart

5. Hold for 3 sec Knee Injury Exercise

I-T Band Stretch (4 x 15 sec)

1. Stand facing the wall on one leg with your foot turned out

2. Cross opposite leg in front keeping weight on back leg.

3. Keep pelvis facing forward so that it is square with the wall

4. Shift pelvis laterally toward the side that your are weight bearing on

5. Lean trunk away for maximal stretch Come and see us: If your pain does not improve with the above strategies then there is something preventing your tissue from healing. Find out why by coming in for a detailed physical therapy evaluation of your alignment, strength and running mechanics.


Private Pay vs. Insurance

Since 1995 New Dimensions Physical Therapy has been a private pay practice rather than contracting with insurance companies.  While patients can still file their claims with their insurance for reimbursement, it allows all of the therapists time, energy and attention to be on patient care.

Benefits of Private Pay and Choosing Us:

  • Highly focused treatment: All of the therapists’ time, energy, and attention is focused on your care.
  • Getting to the roots
    • We have time to focus on identifying the root cause of your pain rather than chasing symptoms.  
    • We can provide the services that will help you the most vs. what insurance will or won’t cover.
  • Holistic care: We are free to treat the whole person not just a specific body part to achieve lasting results.
  • Prevention, not just intervention: We can partner with you to proactively prevent injuries and help you feel better and better throughout your life.
  • Go for the gold
    • We are able to go for 100% recovery!
    • Patient’s can pursue therapy with us for performance enhancement and wellness. 
  • Get further for less: Less time off work, quicker recovery and patient’s have told us they wish they would have come here first because they could have easily paid for our services once they consider what they spent on their deductible and copays at insurance-based clinics.

We thank you for your trust in us and look forward to serving you!