LSVT® BIG Program for Parkinson’s Therapy
Parkinson’s is a neurological disease that affects the quality and amplitude of a person’s movements, speech, and swallowing. Tremors, rigidity, slow movement (bradykinesia), poor balance and difficulty walking are all also associated with Parkinson’s disease. For patients with Parkinson’s, everyday tasks like walking and speaking can be overwhelmingly difficult. Many patients feel isolated as a result.
At Bon Secours In Motion, our physical therapy clinic at DePaul Medical Center is introducing a new non-invasive treatment program for Parkinson’s patients struggling with the activities of daily living. We retrain movements to make them bigger so that daily tasks, like walking, are easier. The goal of the program is to help these patients perform their activities of daily living with greater ease.
According to LSVT® BIG research, individuals with Parkinson’s disease should not wait until they begin to experience disability, impaired function or loss of balance before they begin to exercise. LSVT® BIG techniques include intensive physical and occupational therapy focused on training individuals to self monitor for better movement.
These strategies lead to improvement in:
- Faster walking with bigger steps
- Better balance
- Increased flexibility of trunk
- Improvement on daily activity such as bed mobility
- Increased UPDRS motor score
Bon Secours In Motion provides a comprehensive, personalized approach to the rehabilitation of patients with Parkinson’s disease through our team of physical therapists who have received specialized certification in LSVT® BIG.
- 16 sessions: 4 days a week for 4 weeks
- Individual 1 hour sessions
- Daily homework practice
- Daily carryover exercises
LSVT® BIG is now being used to minimize or slow progression of the disease’s disabling physical effects. It asks those following the program to move “big,” encouraging a vigorous range of movement and pushing participants to use all parts of the body, from the feet to the hands and fingers.
In a BIG session, the patient mimics or mirrors the therapist through a series of large stepping or rocking movements with their arms moving in various directions.
Recent research shows exercise may slow, halt, or reverse the progression of Parkinson’s disease. Regular follow up treatment with our certified therapists is recommended 1-2 times per year to determine if further treatment is needed to sustain motivation, adhere to home exercise programs, and increase community participation.
For videos of patients before and after BIG program treatment, please visit the LVST YouTube channel.