Parkinson’s is a neurological disease that effects the quality and amplitude of a persons 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. “BIG” is the treatment of Parkinson’s through an evidenced based intensive amplitude-based exercise program for the limb motor system and re-education of the sensorimotor system. The goal of the BIG program is to help these patients perform their activities of daily living with greater ease.
Scientific research suggests that 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 self monitor for better movement. These strategies lead to faster walking with bigger steps, better balance and increased flexibility of the trunk.
Recent research shows exercise may slow, halt, or reverse the progression of Parkinson’s disease. Regular follow up treatment with our certified therapists are recommended every 3-6 months to sustain motivation, adherence to home exercise programs, and increase community participation.
For videos of patients before and after BIG program treatment, please visit the LVST YouTube channel.
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.
The BIG program is overseen by a licensed physical therapist or physical therapist assistant, four days a week for four weeks, in 1-hour sessions.
Bon Secours In Motion provides a comprehensive, personalized approach to the rehabilitation of patients with Parkinson’s disease through our multidisciplinary team of physical and occupational therapists who have received specialized certification in LSVT® BIG.