Now, thanks to LSVT BIG, an intensive therapeutic exercise program developed for people with Parkinson’s disease and other neurological conditions, our physical therapists have an effective new weapon in the war on Parkinson’s disease.
Treatments target the production of larger-amplitude, whole-body functional movements (think big movements) while retraining sensory awareness about the effort required for normal movements.
The LSVT BIG approach teaches patients how to avoid inactivity and keep movements alive during everyday activities to help improve their quality of life. LSVT BIG is a research-based exercise approach developed from principles of the effective Parkinson’s disease-specific speech treatment LSVT LOUD.
LOUD is backed by 15 years of research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). These same principles of enhancing larger-amplitude motion are being applied to the whole body with LSVT BIG. Initial studies by the NIH have shown LSVT BIG to enhance whole-body functional movements for up to three months after treatment. That includes improved abilities such as:
- Faster walking
- Bigger steps
- Better balance
- Increased trunk rotation
These enhancements can be maintained much longer with a daily home program and periodic “tune-ups” to help sustain your motivation and increase your participation. Though some medications are very effective early on to alleviate most symptoms, scientific research suggests that Parkinson’s disease patients should not wait until the onset of impaired function or lost balance.