LSVT Big® is a standardized treatment protocol used for the improvement of both gross and fine motor skills for people with Parkinson’s Disease. This form of treatment is customized to the specific needs and goals of each patient, and it can be adapted or progressed in order to meet such needs. It can be used to treat a vast variety of diseases, impairments, and conditions, which may fluctuate in severity from patient to patient. For more information regarding LSVT Big® treatments and how they may benefit you or someone you love, contact St. Luke’s & East Tennessee Rehab Center today.
What exactly is LSVT Big®?
LSVT Big® is a form of treatment that may be unknown to most. LSVT stands for “Lee Silverman Voice Treatment” and has two branches that come off of it – “Big” and “Loud.” These treatments are expanded from an existing software used to help with speech.
While this is a treatment that is primarily done with Parkinson’s patients, it can be used to treat numerous other conditions, as well. It is based on the principle of neuroplasticity, which refers to the ability of the nervous system to change in response to signals – essentially, the brain’s capability of learning and changing.
In fact, scientific research done on the results of LSVT Big® has reported significant progress in several categories for people struggling with Parkinson’s Disease, including:
- Improved balance
- Increased trunk rotation
- Faster walking, with bigger steps
- Improvements in activities of daily living, such as dressing, bathing, eating, and writing
LSVT Big® uses a large amplitude training (also known as Be BIG!) in order to elicit improved and healthy movement as a new normal for patients.
These treatments are typically administered in 16 individual sessions over the course of one month, which equals out to four 60-minute sessions per week. This intensive mode of administration is consistent with theories of motor learning and skill acquisition, as well as the principle of neuroplasticity. Because of this, intensive treatments are critical in reaching the most optimal results possible.
LSVT Big® treatments don’t only stimulate the motor system – they also incorporate sensory awareness training, in order to help patients with impairments such as Parkinson’s Disease recognize when their movements are too small. This helps in convincing them their bigger movements are within normal limits, and it also makes them comfortable with their new bigger, faster, and safer movements when walking, dressing, or eating.
How do I know if I’m eligible for LSVT Big® treatments?
Eligibility for LSVT Big® treatments will be determined by one of our certified Morristown, Kingsport, and Newport, TN physical therapists. You will undergo a physical evaluation to test your movements and examine both your gross and fine motor skills. You will likely be asked to participate in several diagnostic tests, such as movement investigation or gait analysis. Once a diagnosis has been determined, your physical therapist will begin designing an individualized treatment plan based on your needs.
It is likely that anyone with motor skill impairments will be eligible for LSVT Big® treatments, unless a physical therapist recommends otherwise. Sometimes, issues can be treated with other methods of physical therapy. Either way, your physical therapist will make sure that you are receiving the best quality care for your condition.
If you are suffering from a condition that is impairing your motor skills and you’d like to learn more about the LSVT Big® treatments offered in our Morristown, Kingsport, and Newport, TN physical therapy office, contact St. Luke’s & East Tennessee Rehab Center today. We’ll make sure you get the treatment and care you need!