LSVT Loud® is a standardized treatment protocol used to improve speech in patients with motor skill impairments, such as 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 is 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 Loud® treatments and how they may benefit you or someone you love, contact St. Luke’s & East Tennessee Rehab Center today.
What exactly is LSVT Loud®?
LSVT Loud® 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.
This method of treatment was developed in 1987 and it has been scientifically researched and studied for the past 30 years. It has received funding and support from some of the most reputable institutes, including the National Institute for Deafness and other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) of the National Institutes of Health.
According to published scientific research data, LSVT Loud® treatments are reported to show significant progress in several categories for people struggling with Parkinson’s Disease, including:
- Vocal loudness
- Voice quality
- Facial expression
In fact, two brain imaging studies have even documented evidence of positive changes in the brain following administration of the therapy. LSVT works in improving overall vocal loudness by stimulating the muscles of the voice box, or “larynx,” and speech mechanisms in general, through a systematic hierarchy of exercises. This is also known as the practice of “Speak LOUD!”
LSVT treatments help in improving respiratory, laryngeal, and articulatory function, in order to maximize speech intelligibility. This treatment does not train people for shouting or yelling; rather, LSVT LOUD® uses loudness training to bring the voice to an improved and healthy vocal loudness, with little to no strain.
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 voice is too soft. This helps in convincing them that their louder voice is within normal limits, and it makes them comfortable with the new normal of their louder voice.
Contact St. Luke’s & East Tennessee Rehab Center to find out if you are eligible!
Eligibility for LSVT Loud® treatments will be determined by one of our certified Morristown, Kingsport, and Newport, TN physical therapists. An evaluation will be done to test speech and you may be asked to repeat several phrases administered by your physical therapist.
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 Loud® 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 Loud® 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!