WHAT IS LSVT BIG ? · Parkinson's Resource Organization


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The Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT) BIG Program is designed to help with the initiation and execution of physical movements. The LSVT BIG program was created according to the principles of the LSVT Voice program, which follows a structured schedule that research has shown to produce posit ive patient outcomes. Participants in the LSVT BIG program should expect a comprehensive treatment–four sessions per week for four weeks for a total of 16 sessions.

The LSVT BIG program is given by a licensed Occupational Therapist or licensed Physical Therapist who undergoes LSVT training and certification program to learn improved strategies for control of upper and lower limbs, balance, walking, and other movements, designed to help an individual with Parkinson’s with everyday living movements. According to LSVT research, greater results are obtained as soon as there is a diagnosis of Parkinson’s (LSVT, n.d.). Improved outcomes are seen by patients who undergo the LSVT BIG program. (LSVT. (n.d.). (What is LSVT big? LSVT Global. Retrieved from:lsvtglobal.com/patient-resources/what-is-lsvt-big) The BIG Program is demonstrated with BIG arms, BIG steps, BIG fingers in the course of a 60-minute workout with the word “big,” before modeling the movement. The therapy emphasizes amplitude—in this case, exaggerated size in movement—in order to restore normal activity. You can take medications, you can have surgery, but in a disease that makes people feel completely out of control, this is empowering. It gives them control.

There is also some research evidence that it can slow the progression of the disease. The same approach can also help stroke patients, those with multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy and Down syndrome, according to the LSVT website. The exercises are great for fall and balance issues too. According to one LSVT BIG client, “Parkinson’s is kind of a sneaky disease and the BIG program is the only thing that’s kept me mobile.”  It was particularly helpful to her after with her balance after experiencing several falls. By emphasizing amplitude, whether in speech or movement, you get at many different aspects, including improved posture. The big movements also help to counteract slowed movement of the disease. Part of the therapy’s efficacy, according to the organization’s website, is its simplicity. By focusing exclusively on one aspect to change, it’s easy for clients to comply, follow and practice the recommendations. The therapy also relies on an initial intensity to promote “activity-dependent neuroplasticity,” in which the brain actually creates new pathways. It is designed to counterbalance the loss of ability by instituting other muscular activities.

The BIG program requires four one-hour sessions weekly for four weeks and is covered by most commercial insurance providers. LSVT BIG is now being offered at Easy Speech Therapy Center, a fully licensed and certified LSVT provider. Easy Speech Therapy Center is also a participatory Medicare provider, and coverage for LSVT Big is now available via Medicare benefits. Find Easy Speech Therapy Center in the Wellness Village.

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Updated: August 16, 2017