Parkinson’s and Neurological Disorders
TREATING PARKINSON’S DISEASE WITH LSVT BIG®
For balance and vestibular issues caused by Parkinson’s Disease, North Boulder Physical Therapy offers LSVT BIG. This highly beneficial treatment focuses on increasing the amplitude of limb and body movement through repetitive, core movements that are often used in everyday living.
LSVT BIG is based on the Lee Silverman Voice Technique that was first used for a Parkinson’s focused voice and swallowing therapy called LSVT LOUD®. Emphasizing the sensory integration of movement patterns, LSVT BIG treatment includes:
- 4 one-hour sessions per week across 4 successive weeks – 16 total sessions
- Homework exercises and establishment of a lifelong home exercise regimen
- Improvement in the patient’s gait, speed, balance and overall quality of life
While early treatment provides optimal outcomes, LSVT BIG is an effective treatment for all stages of PD and addresses both gross and fine motor skills. At North Boulder Physical Therapy, we have been fully certified to offer this treatment option for PD patients. Please contact us today to learn more.
What is Parkinson’s Disease?
Parkinson’s is a progressive, neurodegenerative disease, resulting from the loss of dopamine-producing brain cells. While the causes of PD are currently unknown, possibly a mix of genetics and environmental factors, there are around 1 million Americans living with PD and that number will likely double by 2030.
One of its earliest and most common symptoms is a tremor in a limb, such as the hand, more noticeable when the body is at rest. Along with trembling in a limb, jaw or face, other symptoms include:
- Rigidity or stiffness in limbs and trunk
- Bradykinesia, a slowness of movement
- Akinesia, the inability to move
- Impaired balance and coordination
- Depression, anxiety and sleep difficulties
- Trouble swallowing, chewing and speaking
- Urinary problems or constipation
- Shuffling gait and/or stooped posture
Parkinson’s Disease symptoms worsen over time, which can interfere with everyday tasks, from getting in and out of bed, to speaking and moving easily. People with PD may also have incidents attributed to “freezing” where starting to walk after stopping, or vice versa, becomes extremely difficult. A shift in weight or momentum without corresponding limb movement can cause falls and lead to injuries.
What is LSVT BIG all About?
Traditional physiotherapy treatment focuses on breaking down each major action (such as walking) into smaller increments that are practiced and eventually integrated into the larger movement. In LSVT Big, it’s all about high amplitude, exaggerated movement patterns, all of which can lead to smoother, safer motor function and improved quality of life.
Funded by the National Institutes of Health, LSVT BIG has been rigorously researched and treatments developed for over two decades. Documented improvements in PD patients include:
- Faster walking and improved balance
- Bigger step capabilities (versus shuffling)
- Increased ability to rotate the trunk
- Improved mobility in everyday activities
- Improved Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Score
While there is a standard treatment method for LSVT BIG, it can easily be personalized to address the needs of any patient depending on their areas of deficiency or impairment, as well as the progression and severity of the disease. At North Boulder Physical Therapy, we begin with a full assessment then tailor your LSVT BIG treatment accordingly. To schedule an appointment for you or a loved one, please contact us today.