LSVT Big Parkinsons Program

LSVT Big is a specialized exercise program developed specifically for individuals with Parkinson's disease (PD). The program was developed by Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT) Global, a company that specializes in the development of evidence-based treatments for individuals with neurological disorders.

PD is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects the movement of the body. Symptoms include tremors, rigidity, bradykinesia (slowness of movement), and postural instability. These symptoms can have a significant impact on an individual's ability to perform daily activities and can significantly impact their quality of life.

LSVT Big was developed to address the specific movement-related symptoms of PD. The program is based on the principles of neuroplasticity, which is the ability of the brain to reorganize and adapt in response to new experiences. The program aims to improve movement function by increasing the size of movements, which are often reduced in individuals with PD.  A typical program often lasts for 1-2 months with a wide variety of exercises designed to improve movements.  The program is tailored to the individual needs of each participant and includes exercises for walking, balance, and activities of daily living. The exercises are challenging and intensive, with a focus on repetition and a home program.

Scientific studies have shown that LSVT Big can significantly improve movement function in individuals with PD. The program is adaptable and can be modified to meet the specific needs of each individual. Research has found that the program can improve walking speed, step length, balance and help prevent falling. 

Research has also found that the program can improve speech and voice quality, which can often be affected by PD. Participants have also reported improvements in mood and quality of life.  LSVT Big is a safe and effective treatment option for individuals with PD. The program has been extensively researched and has been shown to have long-lasting benefits. The intensive nature of the program can be challenging, but participants often report feeling empowered and motivated by the progress they make.

  • Lusardi MM, Fritz S, Middleton A, et al. Determining the influence of the LSVT BIG® protocol on trunk and lower extremity control in patients with Parkinson's disease. Mov Disord Clin Pract. 2016;3(1):40-47. doi:10.1002/mdc3.12231
  • Ebersbach G, Ebersbach A, Edler D, Kaufhold O, Kusch M, Kupsch A. Comparing exercise in Parkinson's disease--the Berlin LSVT® BIG study. Mov Disord. 2010;25(12):1902-1908. doi:10.1002/mds.23120
  • Fritz NE, Cheek FM, Nichols-Larsen DS. Motor-cognitive dual-task training in persons with neurologic disorders: a systematic review. J Neurol Phys Ther. 2015;39(3):142-153. doi:10.1097/NPT.0000000000000096
  • Farley BG, Koshland GF. Training BIG to move faster: the application of the speed-amplitude relation as a rehabilitation strategy for people with Parkinson's disease. Exp Brain Res. 2005;167(3):462-467. doi:10.1007/s00221-005-0035-1
  • Ebersbach G, Grust U, Ebersbach A, Wegner B, Gandor F, Kupsch A. Amplitude-oriented exercise in Parkinson's disease: a randomized study comparing LSVT-BIG and a short training protocol. J Neural Transm (Vienna). 2015;122(2):253-256. doi:10.1007/s00702-014-1263-3\
  • Lusardi MM, Pellecchia GL. Improving mobility, balance, and cognition in Parkinson's disease: the potential of personalized exercise therapy. J Parkinsons Dis. 2016;6(4):673-682. doi:10.3233/JPD-160842
  • Hackney ME, Earhart GM. Health-related quality of life and alternative forms of exercise in Parkinson disease. Parkinsonism Relat Disord. 2009;15(9):644-648. doi:10.1016/j.parkreldis.2009.02.002
  • Spaulding SJ, Barber B, Colby M, Cormack B, Mick T, Jenkins ME. Cueing and gait improvement among people with Parkinson's disease: a meta-analysis. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2013;94(3):562-570. doi:10.1016/j.apmr.2012.10.026
  • Goodman R, Kurlan R. An update on the management of Parkinson's disease. Mt Sinai J Med. 2012;79(6):677-685. doi:10.1002/msj.21349
  • Li F, Harmer P, Fitzgerald K, et al. Tai chi and postural stability in patients with Parkinson's disease. N Engl J Med. 2012;366(6):511-519. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1107911

Did You Know?

  • The LSVT program has been shown to be very effective for patients with Parkinson's.
  • Although Parkinson's disease cannot be reversed there is very good evidence to show the right kind of exercises can help prevent further progression.
  • One of the most important issues with Parkinson's is high risk of falling. The LSVT program directly reduces fall risk.

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