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!

"After a three-car rear end accident, I had a concussion and severe whiplash. I picked A2 to help me recover. I will have to honestly say A2's expertise and therapists along with all the other staff, have been the "silver lining". They are very knowledgable and take the time to explain what they are doing. and why they are doing it. They are extremely friendly, thoughtful, and maintain flexible hours. I have followed the home exercises regularly and have seen steady improvement. This is very important as I am a small business owner with a physically demanding job. A2 has it all! Fantastic physical therapists, massage therapist, and personal fitness trainers, all under one roof. Alika is a visionary and A2 is the hidden jewel of PT, but not for long."

− Danielle

"Thank you, thank you, thank you so much for all that you have done to help me get better. What I admire the most is that you have a kind, caring, outstanding staff that not only listens to what is going on with us but goes the extra mile to help each of us achieve our goals. Danny and Alika never, never, never gave up on me and helped me reclaim my life. I love all of you dearly."

− C. Marez

"I had a great time coming in to A2 every week. Everyone was really helpful and fun to be around. The exercises we did made a huge difference in getting my body and confidence back to shape. Next time I'm injured, I will know just where to go. Thank you!"

− Eric