Many individuals living with Parkinson’s Disease are looking for new treatment options that can help in alleviating some of the debilitating effects. Two specific therapies, LSVT LOUD speech therapy and LSVT BIG physical therapy, have proven successful in increasing speech and mobility in patients with Parkinson’s, whether newly diagnosed or having lived with it for many years.
Both LSVT LOUD and LSVT BIG are based on the basic principle that the human brain can learn and change.
LSVT LOUD is a speech treatment for individuals with Parkinson’s Disease and other neurological conditions that works to improve vocal loudness and maximize speech intelligibility. With a focused goal of “speak LOUD!” the treatment trains patients to self-generate the adequate amount of loudness to make their speech understood. It also incorporates sensory awareness training to help individuals with Parkinson’s Disease recognize that their voice is too soft, convincing them that the louder voice is within normal limits, and making them comfortable with their new louder voice.
LSVT LOUD works to achieve its goal with patients by stimulating the muscles of the voice box (larynx) and speech mechanism through a systematic hierarchy of exercises. These exercises improve the patients’ respiratory, laryngeal and articulatory functions.
A course of treatment consists of 16, hour long treatments over a 4 week period. Over 90% of LSVT LOUD patients improved vocal loudness from pre to post-treatment. In published research data, patients with PD have experienced improvements in vocal loudness, intonation, and voice quality for up to two years after the completion of treatment.
In recent research LSVT LOUD therapy has also been found to help improve common problems of disordered articulation, diminished facial expression, and impaired swallowing.
LSVT BIG is a physical therapy program for individuals with Parkinson Disease that has been developed to address the unique movement impairments associated with it. With a focused goal of “Bigness” through increased amplitude of limb and body movement, following treatment LSVT BIG patients have experienced documented improved ratings on test of motor functioning including: faster walking with bigger steps, improved trunk rotation, and improved balance.
To optimize learning and carryover of better movement into everyday life, LSVT BIG is both intensive and complex with many repetitions of core movements that are used in daily life.
A course of treatment consists of 16, hour long treatments over a 4 week period which can be delivered by a LSVT BIG certified physical or occupational therapist.