Physical therapists are healthcare professionals who focus on prevention, wellness, and restoring function.

At HSHS St. Joseph's Hospital, we take pride in providing most highly skilled physical therapists in the region. We focus on providing comprehensive hands-on care specific to your goals. We work in close collaboration with physicians to optimize your recovery process.

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Acute Injury Management   View more information.

Acute injuries, such as a sprained ankle or strained back, occur suddenly during activity. Signs of an acute injury include the following:

  • Sudden, severe pain
  • Swelling Inability to place weight on a lower limb
  • Extreme tenderness in a limb
  • Inability to move a joint through its full range of motion
  • Extreme limb weakness

Therapy can be a great treatment adjunct for many of these conditions. With the use of modalities, manual therapy techniques and patient education, patients can achieve full range of motion, relief of pain and restoration of function.

Aquatic Physical Therapy   View more information.

Aquatic physical therapy utilizes the positive properties of water to enhance the rehabilitation potential for those individuals who do not tolerate or are not responding to dry land therapy. The buoyancy, viscosity and hydrostatic pressure provided by water help to unload the joints, increase range of motion, decrease swelling, promote relaxation and decrease the risk of injury.

Aquatic Therapy is appropriate for a wide variety of diagnoses, including, but not limited to:

  • Post-surgical joint procedures
  • Joint pain
  • Weakness
  • Deconditioning
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • ACL or meniscal injuries
  • Back pain
  • Sports injuries/rehabilitation

Functional Capacity Evaluations   View more information.

The Department of Rehabilitation Services at HSHS St. Joseph's Hospital uses the ErgoScience Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) model.

An FCE is a specialized process of determining an individual's physical capacities and functional abilities. The FCE matches human performance levels to the demands of a specific job, work activity or occupation. Results are useful in determining job placement, job accommodation, or return to work after injury or illness. FCE's also provide objective information regarding functional work ability in the determination of occupational disability status.

FCE's are used to:

  • Determine an individual's ability to safely return to their occupation
  • Determine if work restrictions, job modifications, or reasonable accommodations
  • Determine the extent of impairment, or the degree of physical limitation
  • Predict the potential ability to perform work following acute rehabilitation or a work hardening program

Inpatient & Acute Physical Therapy   View more information.

Inpatient physical therapy services are provided at HSHS St. Joseph's Hospital. Our experienced team of physical therapists will help you to maximize your functional independence during your in-patient stay, preparing you for a safe discharge.

Manual Therapy   View more information.

The practice of manual therapy within the physical therapy profession is a clinical approach utilizing skilled and specific hands on techniques to diagnose and treat soft tissue and joint structures to address pain, decreased range of motion, soft tissue inflammation, improve contractile and non-contractile tissue repair, inducing relaxation, flexibility, and stability. The overall objective is to facilitate movement, improve function, and modulate pain. Manual therapy encompasses an array of techniques; however common techniques include myofascial and trigger point release. A particular manual therapy method found to be especially successful for improving function and pain is osteopathic manual therapy.

Osteopathic Manual Therapy   View more information.

Osteopathic manual therapy emphasizes the structure-function interrelationship. The goal of osteopathic manual techniques is to maximize movement and function to enhance the level of wellness and assist in recovery from injury and disease. Osteopathic manual therapy encompasses the following techniques:

Muscle Energy Techniques (MET): The process of the patient contracting a muscle in a controlled manner and direction against the force of a therapist to:

  • Lengthen a shortened, spastic muscle
  • Restore strength to an inhibited muscle
  • Reduce local fluid
  • Mobilize a restricted joint or spinal segment

Direct Joint Mobilization: A procedure aimed at improving motion and mechanics within a joint by applying graded force. The grade of force selected is determined by the therapist based on the treatment goal. Lower grades of force are selected to aide in pain relief, where as greater levels of force are used to increase motion within a joint.

High Velocity Low Amplitude Thrust (HVLA): The therapist localizes the dysfunctional joint or spinal segment with motion loss. Once all of the "slack" within the treatment area is taken up, the clinician applies a quick and low amplitude (small) thrust to restore the restricted motion.

Functional Indirect Technique: Relative to a segment within the spine, the functional approach does not consider the vertebrae to be "out of place," however attempts to restore coordinated activity with other segments of the vertebral column. This is achieved by moving the involved area away from the restrictive barrier involving the neurological system to facilitate relaxation and improved motion.

Occupational Medicine   View more information.

Our team of highly skilled physical and occupational therapists provide accessible care in attempt to maintain workers health, prevent work related injury and provide treatment following occupational disease or accident. We provide the following specialized services:

  • Pre and Post Physical Screens
  • Ergonomic Evaluations
  • Functional Capacity Evaluations (FCE)
  • Return to Work Evaluations/Assessments
  • Community/Industrial Education

Custom Orthotic Fabrication   View more information.

What are custom orthotics? An orthotic is a device placed within the shoe with the goal of improving bio mechanics to maximize function and aide in pain relief. Orthotics can be made with the objective of correcting abnormalities within the foot and ankle or to accommodate and support existing foot positions, such as arch supports. A misconception of orthotics is that they are always designed with the intent to "correct." However, often the design is to bring the ground up to the foot to aide in support and pressure relief.

Who would benefit from orthotics? Orthotics are designed to improve bio mechanics which focuses on the human body in motion and at rest to address the structure and function of the feet, ankles, knees, hips, pelvis and spine. During standing and walking we are subjected to forces which place stress and strain throughout the joints and spine. With foot imbalances or abnormalities, this can lead to an imbalance in the knees, hips, and spine which can lead to pain and fatigue. Orthotics function to provide a balance throughout the feet and body to facilitate improved bio mechanics.

Pilates Rehabilitation   View more information.

Pilates is an exercise method developed by Joseph Pilates who pursued fitness to overcome a childhood illness. Pilates identified key principles essential for healthy movement and function. These principles are heavily based on control and centering with an emphasis on the core. To assist with this goal, Pilates developed special equipment for specific and isolated training.

Pilates based rehab identifies dysfunctional movement patterns and utilizes strategies to restore function and well being. Particular attention is dedicated to posture, flexibility, balance, and endurance.

Principles of Pilates:

  • Concentration
  • Control
  • Centering
  • Flow
  • Precision
  • Breathing
  • Relaxation
  • Stamina

Conditions commonly addressed with Pilates based rehabilitation include:

  • Neck and back pain
  • Shoulder impingement
  • Post surgical rehabilitation for shoulders, spine, hips, knees, and ankles
  • Stabilization exercise for the spine, especially the low back
  • Correction of postural abnormalities
  • Chronic pain

Sports Physical Therapy   View more information.

NEW! Athletes in Motion
This program is designed for middle school through collegiate athletes, focuses on two factors that often can lead to overuse injuries and knee ligament injuries — improper movement mechanics and muscle imbalance.

Our certified athletic trainer and doctor of physical therapy provides one-on-one instruction for safe movement and increased performance. With individualized plans, athletes can gain strength and confidence to move forward in their sport.

Training for the Hunt
Get physically ready for the upcoming hunting season with exercise and health tips for a safe hunt. Developed by a physical therapist, information includes a six week conditioning program, information about heat related illnesses and ways to prevent dehydration. Read more.

Treatment and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal injuries is at the center of our physical therapy practice. Using a team approach with physicians, coaches and parents, our physical therapists design and implement programs for the management of these injuries in individuals of all ages and abilities.

The practice of physical therapy also includes those interventions that assist athletes in preventing injuries. Prevention tools utilized by our physical therapists consist of:

  • Cardiovascular fitness programs
  • Equipment recommendations
  • Plyometric conditioning programs
  • Pre-participation screening
  • Strength training programs

Our physical therapists are actively involved in the education of athletes, parents and coaches about the various preventative and management techniques utilized in managing sports related injuries. Along with the treatment and prevention of sports related injuries our sports physical therapists are able to assist athletes in improving their athletic performance in a variety of ways. The foundation of performance enhancement is developed through completion of thorough evaluation of the neuromusculoskeletal and the cardiovascular/pulmonary systems. The results of this evaluation define each athlete's functional strengths and weaknesses allowing for the development of individualize training programs.

Vestibular Rehabilitation   View more information.

Vestibular rehabilitation is a form of physical therapy that addresses complaints of vertigo, dizziness and unsteadiness resulting from inner ear and non-vestibular disorders. Vestibular rehabilitation focuses on evaluation of the patient's functional abilities and positions or movements that provoke the patient's symptoms of dizziness or unsteadiness. Based upon the findings, and appropriate therapy program is designed to minimize or eliminate such symptoms.

HSHS St. Joseph's Hospital physical therapists are specially trained and certified in vestibular rehabilitation. We perform comprehensive evaluations that measure: balance, strength, coordination, gait, oculomotor function and blood pressure using the latest technology.

Treatment may include:

  • Manual techniques
  • Balance training
  • Visual exercises
  • Patient education
  • Assistive device recommendations

Orthopedic Rehabilitation   View more information.

Orthopedic Rehabilitation is the treatment of injury to the skeleton, muscles, tendons and their supporting soft tissues. Some of the most common diagnoses include:

  • Neck and back pain
  • Shoulder tendonitis and/or impingement
  • Knee pain
  • Hip pain
  • Knee and ankle sprains
  • Fractures
  • Scar management

The ultimate goal of therapy is for the patient to achieve freedom from pain, independent living, and an understanding of how to prevent re-injury, thus restoring their previous level of function.

Neurological Rehabilitation   View more information.

The nervous system is vulnerable to various disorders. It can be damaged by injuries, infections, degeneration, structural defects, and tumors, as well as disorders in the circulatory system. Common diagnoses may include the following:

  • Stroke
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Spinal Cord Injury
  • Guillain-BarrĂ© Syndrome
  • Parkinson's Disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • Alzheimer's Disease

Common problems of patients with neurological disorders include paralysis, vision impairment, impaired balance, difficulty walking and loss of independence. Therapists work with patients to improve these areas of dysfunction to help restore safe and independent mobility.



   • Vestibular
   • Functional Capacity Evaluations
   • Ergonomics


Chris Klay, MA, PT, CCI
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Jessica Erickson, PT, DPT, CCI
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Michael Erickson, DPT, MS, LAT
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Annmarie King, PT
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Jean Leafblad, PT
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Kara Molstad, PTA
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Derek Nystrom, PTA
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Matt Schuette, PT, DPT
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American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)

Wisconsin Physical Therapy Association (WPTA)

National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)

Medline Plus (A service of the US National Library of Medicine)

Arthritis Foundation


MoveForward (A service of APTA)


Send Rehabilitation Services an email.
Call (715) 717-7455


Physical Therapy