What is LSVT BIG & LOUD® Therapy for People with Parkinson’s?
By: Dr. Abe Kopolovich, DPT, MBA, JD-IP
Patients who have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease have options for targeted therapies to help alleviate or slow some of the side effects related to speech and movement, and maintain a better quality of life.
The research proven method for Parkinson’s rehabilitation called LSVT BIG & LOUD® was first developed in 1987 as LSVT LOUD®, named for Mrs. Lee Silverman (Lee Silverman Voice Treatment – LSVT) and was funded by the National Institute for Deafness and other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) of the National Institutes of Health. The principles were then applied to limb movement, thus the creation of LSVT BIG®.
Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease
One of the defining symptoms of Parkinson’s disease is stiffness or slowing of movement. As the disease progresses, many patients also find their speech changes, becoming soft, slower or slurred. There is no known cure for the progressive disease, however, the targeted and intense therapies included in the LSVT BIG & LOUD® program can help patients combat difficulties and deterioration in mobility and speech.
BIG Therapy for Parkinson’s
The BIG part of the program focuses on increased large limb movements making improvements to balance, speed of movement and overall quality of life. The BIG therapy, which has been developed over the last 20 years, incorporates proper exercise techniques to engage big limb movements with core strengthening. LSVT BIG therapy can be administered by a physical or occupational therapist.
“This is an intensive, month-long therapy program,” said Lois Burke, physical therapist at the Bancroft NeuroRehab Resnick Center in Mt. Laurel, NJ. “The standard protocol recommends therapy sessions four days a week for four weeks with homework. It truly requires a commitment on the part of the patient to want to work hard to make physical changes.”
LOUD Therapy for Parkinson’s
Patients with Parkinson’s frequently have difficulty with conversation because their voices are softer and they can often run out of breath. To help patients continue to engage in the world around them, the LSVT LOUD® program is designed to increase the clarity and loudness of the voice.
Big and Loud Therapy Locations
Bancroft NeuroRehab’s Cherry Hill and Mount Laurel facilities offer Big and Loud Therapy. Talk to your neurologist and ask for a referral to Bancroft NeuroRehab.