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!

"Dear Alika- I want to tell you how great A2 has been in helping me to succeed in getting better after my stroke. Your staff is not only knowledgeable but funny at the same time. They don’t make physical therapy seem tough; but they make it fun by teaching us the right way to stand, asking us how we are and encouraging us to reach our goals. My goal has always been to get back to “normal.” I appreciate all of your staff immensely. They are all great. You always have my recommendation for where to go for P.T."

− Crestina

"I’ve had 4 surgeries with different physical therapy clinics and this was my favorite. I felt comfortable and felt like I mattered to my PT which was a good feeling. My progress was as I had expected and any time I had a question or concern it was always answered and my PT adjusted. If it needed to be to avoid the pain I had I didn’t feel pressured to have more PT appointments or pressured to do workouts that aggravated my pain. Thank you for your help! I think offering stem and ultrasound for every patient will be really beneficial. Great experience overall."

− A.S.

"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