LSVT BIG


This month, A2 Physical Therapy’s Molly Daugherty was thrilled to attend the LSVT BIG Training and Certification Workshop in Portland, OR. During the two days, she joined seventy other therapists and therapist assistants from around the country who are striving to improve the quality of life for people with Parkinson’s disease by providing effective physical therapy treatments. During this course, therapists gained the hands-on experience and practicum training required to successfully implement the most comprehensive and evidenced-based physical therapy treatment for Parkinson’s disease: LSVT BIG.

LSVT BIG is a physical therapy program based off the highly effective LSVT LOUD program, a speech therapy intervention for people with Parkinson’s disease. Molly is proud to now hold her LSVT BIG certification, and attending this engaging training reiterated her passion for using exercise to help patients manage their Parkinson’s symptoms.

Key principles of LSVT BIG include:

  • Balance focus
  • Individualization of treatment
  • Posture and large-amplitude movement awareness
  • Confidence and self-efficacy improvement
  • Functional task training for safer, more ‘normal’ daily movements outside of treatment time

In addition to taking part in the interactive course and studying the LSVT BIG program specifics, Molly greatly enjoyed learning about new research findings related to Parkinson’s disease:

  • In the US, about one million people are living with Parkinson’s (this is more than those living with multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, and ALS combined). The number of Americans diagnosed with Parkinson’s is expected to double by 2030.
  • For people with Parkinson’s, one-on-one individualized exercise has been found to be more effective than exercising alone. Improvements include increased walking speed, reaction time, balance, coordination, and trunk rotation.  
  • The benefits of beginning an exercise program with a physical therapist during the earlier stages of Parkinson’s may actually slow the disease’s progression. For patients in later stages, LSVT BIG works to improve their ability to accurately monitor their own movements and posture through specific education and cuing.
  • Older adults who exercise intensely benefit from ‘neuro-protection’ (maintenance of dopamine producing cells which help regulate movement) and experience decreased rates of Parkinson’s disease diagnosis. Conversely, in recently diagnosed patients, 20% had reduced their physical activity levels in the past 5 years. Exercise is the best medicine!

Molly has enjoyed her first few months at A2 and is excited to continue training older adults of all physical abilities at our clinic. She’s loved getting to know A2 patients and Wellness members and looks forward to working with many, many more. Come say hi!

"A2 staff are friendly and informative. All my questions and concerns were addressed. I looked forward to my appointments because even if I didn’t see my progress, because it was so gradual, the staff here made sure to celebrate every move forward. I thought I’d always have a limp/never recover fully, but I was wrong!"

− Amanda

"I loved it here! Everyone was so kind and welcoming and it is a very comfortable space to be in. That made it 100X easier to work on things, and ask plenty of questions. I seriously can’t think of anything to improve upon! Everything worked and helped me feel better, and is so exciting! Because of this, I can do more, and spend less time hurting."

− Georgia

"I never thought I’d love PT, but now I do! I’m so appreciative that my first Pt experience has been with the most attentive and patient people possible. I’m thrilled the progress I’ve made and feel confident in my ability to continue improving at home. A huge thanks to the entire A2 team for being so welcoming and understanding. I truly can’t offer any recommendations, as you guys have a great thing going. (except for maybe more fruit infused water. Thanks again!"

− K. Paulson