North Star Aquatic Therapy

Quench your Thirst for Aquatic Therapy Knowledge

Water-Based Intervention for

Musculoskeletal Disorders

Location: Hudson, WI (Located approximately 30 minutes from Minneapolis, MN)

Dates: February 13-14, 2016

Hours: 16 hours

Credits through FSBPT: 16 CCUs

Instructor: Kimberly Gordon, MPT, MAqI, GAqI

ATU Course #: PS801

Cost: Course Only $595, Course and Boot Camp $695

Click to     Register and Pay


The course is designed to rapidly introduce participants to basic and intermediate aquatic treatment ideas for the musculoskeletal patient. It will provide an overview of treatments pertinent to pediatric, adult and geriatric practices, with an emphasis on the following musculoskeletal conditions: s/p fracture, internal trauma, sprain, strain or dislocation, s/p joint replacement (e.g. TKR), s/p tendon or ligament repair (e.g. ACL), arthritis, chronic pain syndromes (e.g. fibromyalgia), and back and neck dysfunction. Provides participants with insight into musculoskeletal-specific precautions and contraindications to immersion. Teaches participants to justify aquatic therapy interventions to payers and referral sources. Includes an 8 hour aquatic lab of the most clinically useful elements of popular aquatic specialty techniques for the musculoskeletal population.


1. Verbally justify why aquatic therapy may be the treatment of choice if (a) the patient is difficult to support or handle, (b) the patient is in pain, or (c) if the therapist cannot adequately access the patient’s body on land, (d) the patient has lower extremity swelling.

2. Verbally describe 3-4 aquatic precautions and contraindications specific to the patient with musculoskeletal complaints.

3. Given a case scenario, make an argument for and against the relative merits of allowing patients with a specific precaution to participate in aquatic therapy.

4. Gather, organize, and synthesize information regarding what payers (including Medicare) have to say about aquatic therapy for the patient with musculoskeletal complaints.

5. Make a 3 minute verbal “case” for providing aquatic therapy services for a patient with a specific musculoskeletal condition. Be able to identify, locate, and analyze supportive research to bolster your case.

6. With supervision and insruction, progress a specific aquatic task from a lower level of function towards increased independence. Repeat without supervision or instruction.

7. Demonstrate 3-4 aquatic therapeutic movements, tasks, or exercises designed to:

  • increase strength
  • improve ROM
  • decrease pain and muscle spasm
  • improve trunk stability
  • improve posture, weight-bearing, balance, gait and proprioception
  • improve functional skills

8. Select, justify the choice, then demonstrate 1-2 aquatic tasks or activities from each of the following specialty techniques (as each relates to the client with musculoskeletal complaints):

  • Aquatic adaptations of the Berg
  • Aquatic manual therapy and stretching
  • Aquatic yoga
  • Bad Ragaz Ring Method
  • Functional skills training
  • Progressive resistive exercise
  • Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF)
  • Salzman Blanket Drills (SBDs)
  • Trunk stabilization
  • Watsu

9. Working with a partner, develop and implement a 15-minute aquatic treatment plan (including equipment selection) for 1-2 of the following conditions:

  • s/p fracture, internal trauma, sprain, strain or dislocation
  • s/p joint replacement (e.g. TKR)
  • s/p tendon or ligament repair (e.g. ACL)
  • arthritis
  • chronic pain syndromes (e.g. fibromyalgia)
  • back and neck dysfunction

Target Audience

PT's, PTA's, OT's, COTA's, SLP's, and other aquatic professionals.


Day 1

8:00-8:30 Registration

8:30-12:00 Lecture

12:00-1:00 Lunch

1:00-3:45 Pool lab

3:45-4:00 Energy break

4:00-5:30 Pool lab

5:30-5:45 Wrap-Up and Questions

Day 2

8:00-12:00 Lecture

12:00-1:00 Lunch

1:00-3:30 Pool lab

3:30-3:45 Energy break

3:45-5:15 Pool lab

5:15-5:30 Wrap-up and questions

Lecture Location:

Hudson Hospital & Clinics

405 Stageline Drive

Hudson, WI 54016

Lab Location:

St. Croix Therapy

742 Sterbenz Drive

Hudson, WI 54016

Recommended Hotel:

Comfort Suites

2620 Center Drive

Hudson, WI 54016

Ask for the Hudson Hospital Discount ($75.00 including continental breakfast)

Within walking distance of lecture location.

Meet your Instructor

Kimberly Gordon, MPT, MAqI, GAqI

Tracks: Musculo, Geriatric, Sports

Kimberly Gordon, MPT graduated from Mayo Clinic's School of Health Related Sciences with her Master's degree in Physical Therapy. She began practicing in an outpatient sports medicine clinic in Sarasota, FL where her case-load included orthopedic and post-surgical clients, including older adults with torn knee and ankle ligaments, total joint replacements, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, and gait dysfunction. She went on to manage a branch for that company in Bradenton, FL. Upon moving back to Rochester, MN, she spent time working in a local nursing home, helping to develop their short term rehab program to increase the number of joint replacement patients in the facility and to better manage these patients as a team in the nursing home. She then moved into a home health physical therapy position, bringing innovative ideas to the patient returning from a hospital or nursing home stay after surgery or trauma, including many with new joint replacement patients.

She currently works at both the Rochester Active PT office and the Plainview ActivePT office (managing the Plainview office) where she specializes in treating orthopedic patients both in and out of the therapy pool. Her specialty is treating pelvic, hip and knee patients and the majority of her patients come with women's health, orthopedic and sports medicine complaints.

Kim has over 11 years of treating primarily orthopedic patients with 7 of those years specializing in sports medicine. Kim also has over 200 hours of continuing education including SI joint dysfunction, Shoulder rehabilitation presented by Kevin Wilk, pelvic floor training through the Herman and Wallace Pelvic Institute, a certification course in Pilates training and specializes in Pilates. She also teaches a Pilates class at the Rochester Athletic Club and has devoloped specialized classes for the athletic club including Back School, return to Pilates after rehabilitiation, and prenatal Pilates.

Kim's area of specialty is the hip and pelvis. This includes pelvic floor dysfunction, low back and hip pain, total joint replacements, and SI dysfunction. She has trained for 3 years with Aquatic Therapy University, achieving lead instructor status under their extensive instructor's curriculum. Kim offers specialty training in the following through her affiliation with ActivePT.

  • Pilates
  • Back School
  • Osteoporosis

Kim lives in Rochester with her husband and two children. She enjoys playing soccer, biking, and running, has completed her first duathalon, and continues to compete in annual half marathons throughout the midwest.

Cancellation Policy


Programming Changes: Due to unforeseen circumstances, ATU schedules, instructors and/or meals may need to be changed without notice.

Cancellation of Class By ATU: ATU classes may be cancelled for low registration up to 30 days prior to the class. In this event, a full refund of class tuition or a voucher to another class will be issued to students. ATU does not reimburse change fees, airline tickets or any other travel related expenses, so please do not make plans until you receive the 30-day confirmation prior to the conference.

Cancellation of Class by Student: A refund, minus a $175 reseating fee, will be given for student cancellations made prior to 30 days before the conference. No refunds will be given for cancellations received after 30 day deadline. In the event of a student cancellation after the deadline, enrollment fees may be transferred to other ATU courses within 12 months at no charge.

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