Physical Therapy plays an important role in managing Parkinson’s Disease. It is widely agreed that a specialized treatment program called LSVT BIG is the most effective form of physical therapy for people with Parkinson’s Disease. Here at Fyzical, two of our therapists have this world renowned certification in this specialization.
What is BIG Therapy?
As Parkinson’s disease progresses, it causes movements to become smaller and smaller. BIG therapy aims to promote large amplitude movements to maintain normal movement sizes. This type of therapy allows for the re-calibration of perceived movements, thus allowing patients to put in the appropriate amount of effort to perform a motion.
When Should I Begin BIG Therapy
Evidence shows that the sooner you begin BIG Therapy, the better. Starting this program during the early stages of Parkinson’s Disease allows for a preventative approach to be taken, to slow the progression of the disease. However, it is beneficial to start this program at any point during the disease progression.
What Does a Treatment Session look like?
Treatment sessions are one-on-one between you and your therapist. You will work to improve your walking skills, balance, and work related, or daily activities. With practice, you will re-learn what “normal movements” should feel like.
BIG Therapy Program Structure:
- One month of Physical Therapy
- A total of 16 sessions (four consecutive days, for four weeks)
- Each session lasting for one hour
What Difference will I notice after BIG Therapy?
Upon completion of your 16 sessions, you will be able to walk with larger steps, increased arm swing and with more trunk rotation. The absence of these motions is what leads to the stereotypical Parkinson’s stiff walking pattern. Additionally, larger tasks, such as getting out of bed, standing up from a chair, or stepping over a curb will become easier and safer.
Re-training the brain to make these larger movements also has great carryover into smaller tasks, such as writing larger, or even buttoning up a shirt. Following BIG therapy, people state feeling more confident in their balance, and an increase in independence within their daily lives.
To talk to one of our certified BIG therapists, or to schedule an evaluation, call us today at (240) 361-9000.