Parkinson’s disease is a chronic and progressive movement disorder affecting nearly 1 million people in the United States. Ten Percent of that population is believed to be under the age of 40. All symptoms vary, but typical motor signs include tremor, slow movement, stiffness of the limbs and trunk, and postural instability. When patients with Parkinson’s walk with small steps, they think they are walking with normal steps. When they are forced to walk with bigger steps, they thing they are moving too big. This is a problem in self perception in that they do not realize their movements are too small or slow.
Here at STAR Physical Therapy we offer a program specifically for Parkinson’s called LSVT Big. This program has been developed and researched for the past 20 years with funding from the National Institutes of Health and addresses these specific motor impairments. The treatment focus is on big movements and high effort. Improvements that have been documented from research as well as what I have noted in the clinic over the past three years are improved balance, step length, walking speed, flexibility, and overall functional mobility. I have worked with patients who required assistance to get in and out of bed and after going through the LSVT Big program became independent with this task. If you are someone you know has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s and would like more information please contact STAR Physical Therapy Clinics.