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!

"Last Sunday I played full court basketball for the first time in 15 years. I will qualify the contest by saying it happened on a court just out of the back door of an elder care center. The teams consisted of a 7 year old, an d8 year old, a young woman in flip-flops (I played in sandals), a woman who proudly stated she was 55 years old (I retorted with my age of 65), and a couple of other young guys that really played well. I ran the court, I played defense, blocked shots, made shots (missed a lot), got lots of rebounds, and talked a lot of smack while playing with a group of people a lot younger than me. I even made a behind the back-twisting fall-away shot, then fell and tumbled on the court. I jumped up and continued to play, and we played for about 45 minutes.
I attribute my ability to play this game that I love so much again to the excellent training receive from Kristy who is a trainer at A2 Physical Therapy. I have worked out and trained since I was very young. I played high school basketball, baseball, and I ran track. I spent 20 years in the Army with all the training requirements associated with that occupation. I played on community and city leagues, and I have trained with weights for many years. The training program Kristy has devised for me at A2 is rigorous, thorough, diverse, fun, challenging, and focused. She prepares workout plans that are age and fitness level appropriate. My work out now is so much different then it was when I first started. She both trains me individually and as a couple. I run, jump, stretch, lift, balance, squat, push, pull, and every other movement you can imagine. I look forward to going to my workout every time. Kristy is completely in charge of every workout. I am retired, and my training at A2 allows me to fill the need to accomplish something positive every day I work out. I am doing physical activity with ease that I would not have thought I would be able be able to accomplish at the age of 65 such as hiking on Mt Rainer and running 4 days per week. Kristy and A2 have really changed my life…"

− William

"Kristi’s weekly bootcamp has truly gotten me out of my comfort zone. I started attending with my family a few months ago. My first couple of times I was so ore! At times I became discouraged, but I just pushed through! I keep coming every week I am available. There’s no shaming if you must miss a week. You can even have someone go on your behalf if you miss a week. Since starting Kristi’s bootcamp I’ve said yes to other fitness opportunities I would have previously turned down. I now workout EVERYDAY and I’ve lost over 20 lbs since I first started coming. Thanks Kristi and to my family for introducing mw to this awesome bootcamp!"

− Amanda

"The therapy did exactly as I had hoped, it helped alleviate my shoulder pain, and stopped the numbness from creeping down my arm to my hand. The exercises I was shown had the added benefit of helping keep my neck and traps loose and not so tense all the time. A great experience that I would recommend to anyone needing physical therapy."

− C. Wesley