LSVT is a form of treatment for people with Parkinson’s Disease to allow them to regain function and normalcy.
Recently principles of LSVT LOUD, a program for Parkinson’s Disease in which patients are taught to increase the loudness and amplitude of their voice to compensate for their softer more muffled voice, was applied to movement. This program applied to movement is called LSVT BIG. It has been documented to be effective in the short term with a longer-term maintenance program at home.
How does LSVT BIG work?
Training to increase the amplitude of limb and body movement (Bigness) in people with Parkinson’s disease has documented improvements in trunk rotation, gait, improved speed of upper and lower limbs, balance, and quality of life and overall functional ability.
Patients with Parkinson’s Disease not only have smaller slower type movements called bradykinesia, but they perceive them to be more normal than they are. Training these Parkinson’s patients to make their movements “big” has a feedback effect on the brain to help reset what their brain perceives to be normal. These “big” movements also have a positive effect on initiation of movement, the pausing at the beginning of a movement.
What is the LSVT program?
LSVT BIG is delivered by a qualified physical therapist. Treatment is administered in 16 sessions over a single month (four individual 60-minute sessions per week). This protocol was developed specifically to address the unique movement impairments for people with Parkinson’s disease. The LSVT BIG protocol is both intensive and complex, with many repetitions of core movements that are used in daily living. The program also includes set exercises that the patient does at home and in the clinic. This type of practice is necessary to optimize learning and carryover of your better movement into everyday life!
When should I start LSVT?
Start the LSVT BIG program. Physicians rarely refer their patients to physical therapy programs at diagnosis because medications are very effective early on at alleviating most of the symptoms, and patients experience little change in function. Yet, according to a recent survey, it is at the time of diagnosis that patients often begin to consider lifestyle changes and seek education about conventional and complementary/alternative treatment options. Thus, referrals to exercise, wellness programs and physical/occupational therapy would be best initiated at diagnosis, when it may have the most impact on the quality of life.
Contact us, Dynamic Health Physical Therapy and Wellness, in Avon, CT to set up an appointment for LSVT BIG and to have your questions answered by one of our certified and experienced physical therapists in the LSVT BIG program.