LSVT BIG for Parkinson’s Disease

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What is Parkinson’s?

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive nervous system disorder that affects movement. Most people with Parkinson’s disease are diagnosed when they are 60 years old or older, but early-onset Parkinson’s disease is not uncommon. Symptoms usually start gradually, sometimes with a barely noticeable tremor in just one hand. Tremors are prevalent, but the disorder also causes stiffness, slowing of movement or balance and walking problems.

Most common symptoms of Parkinson’s disease:

  • tremor, especially in fingers, hand or foot
  • cramped handwriting or other writing changes
  • trunk rigidity and limb stiffness
  • slowness (bradykinesia): decrease in spontaneous and voluntary movements
  • voice changes and speech problems
  • rigid facial expression or masking
  • stooped posture

Parkinson’s disease symptoms generally worsen as a condition progresses over time.

Parkinson’s disease treatment

Although Parkinson’s disease cannot be cured, here at PDR Physical Therapy & Wellness Center we can help slow the process using a special program that has been developed specifically for patients with Parkinson’s Disease – LSVT® BIG. With over 20 years of research, this unique treatment has shown documented improvements of faster walking and bigger steps, improved balance, and increased trunk rotation.

LSVT® BIG therapy includes repetitive, exaggerated movements that help to counteract the slow movement that is one of the main motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. That therapy can also benefit patients, whose motor function has been affected by other conditions, including stroke, Multiple Sclerosis, cerebral palsy and Down syndrome.

LSVT® BIG promotes strength, motor learning and changes in brain function and patients have been showing impressive progress, including faster walking with bigger steps, better balance, and increased trunk rotation. Patients with Parkinson’s Disease can join the LSVT® BIG program at any time during their disease process. However, researchers suggest that the earlier a patient gets into the treatment, the more beneficial it can be. The exercise program can be modified to accommodate patients at different levels of mobility.

What does  the LSVT® BIG program include?

The program involves up to seven daily exercises, five functional tasks, and up to three hierarchy tasks. There are two seated and five standing exercises that all patients should perform daily. These workouts focus on sustained posture, trunk rotation, balance and stepping. The five functional tasks are custom to the patient’s needs and usually include one step tasks, such as sit-to-stand, turning, backwards stepping, etc. The hierarchy tasks are also customized and are more complex, such as getting on-and-off the floor, getting in-and-out of bed, car, etc.

It is administered by a certified LSVT® BIG provider in 16 sessions over one month (four individual 60 minute sessions per week). Once finished with the program, we offer a DVD exercise program in which our therapist demonstrates all the exercises done in the LSVT® BIG program. PDR Physical Therapy & Wellness Center has two certified  LSVT® BIG providers, Eva Krecisz PT and Laura Wodka PTA.

To find more informations about the program visit www.lsvtglobal.com