What is LSVT and How Does it Help Parkinson’s Disease?
As Parkinson’s disease progresses, patients start to lose their ability to walk, talk and complete activities of daily living. The Lee Silverman Voice Technique (LSVT) is a proven therapy that helps patients with Parkinson’s disease, a neurological condition that affects nerve cells in the brain responsible for body movement. Patients learn to do things big and loud by exaggerating movements or talking a little louder.
Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month
April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month! Physical and occupational therapy can help and includes specialized programs such as LSVT LOUD and LSVT BIG, which help patients manage symptoms and improve quality of life. PT includes general conditioning exercises, functional training, and gait and balance training. Therapists also can offer strategies to safely transfer to and from the bed, in and out of the shower and other daily activities.
LSVT is an effective, evidence-based approach to treating Parkinson’s disease. LSVT programs have been scientifically and clinically proven to improve balance, walking, and general movement and speech patterns of patients. Through targeted and repetitive exercises, the therapy takes advantage of the brain’s ability to adapt and form new neural connections. This neuroplasticity enables people to create new motor-skill and language memories and apply them in real-world situations.
Four Common Symptoms:
- limb and trunk stiffness
- bradykinesia, or the slowing of movements
- and weak balance or coordination
PD symptoms progressively get worse over time and patients can have difficulty with daily tasks such as getting out of a chair, getting dressed, even walking, talking and swallowing.
LSVT LOUD leads to functional improvements by addressing the internal aspects of symptoms, particularly impaired voice and swallowing function. Certified LSVT practitioners help people “recalibrate” their perceptions so they know how loud or soft they sound to other people and maintain improved speech patterns and volume.
“LSVT LOUD trains people with PD to use their voice at a more normal loudness level while speaking at home, work, or in the community,” according to the LSVT website.
With LSVT BIG, patients learn how to use their bodies more normally through exercises that involve large and exaggerated movement patterns. Larger movements help patients move better, with more confidence and safety, whether that involves small motor tasks such as buttoning a shirt or maintaining balance while walking.
LSVT in the Ivy Rehab Network
There are over 4,000 certified LSVT BIG and LSVT LOUD clinicians around the world, and many Ivy Rehab clinics offer this specialized therapy:
- Generation Care clinics in Muskegon, Grand Haven and Grand Rapids, Michigan
- Northern Physical Therapy in Cedar Springs, Michigan: LSVT BIG
- Ivy Rehab in Linden, Michigan: LSVT BIG
- Ivy Rehab in Geneva: Parkinson’s LSVT
- Mickey Ruggiero Spectrum Physical Therapy Greene Clinic offers PD treatment with certification in LSVT Big
- Ivy’s Voorhees, New Jersey, Mt. Laurel, New Jersey, and Freehold, New Jersey clinics have LSVT BIG Certified Therapists
- New Jersey’s Cranford and Westfield offices both utilize Megan Liberty who is an LSVT BIG certified therapist
Therapy ranges from one-on-one sessions to group LSVT BIG exercise classes, aquatic therapy, and support groups. Contact a clinic today and learn how to manage your Parkinson’s symptoms and slow the disease’s progression. Moving matters, and so does a positive, proactive mindset!