What is Parkinson’s Disease?
Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a movement based disorder due to destruction of a portion of the brain called the substantia nigra. This causes the brain to make less dopamine which is a chemical the brain needs to create and feel normal movements. PD is a progressive disease with no known cause/cure but physical therapy, medications and sometimes surgery can help patients stay functional in their activities of daily living and recreation.
Symptoms of PD
-Slowness of movement called bradykinesia
-Tremor which is an involuntary shaking/movement of the hand or foot when resting which stops with movement.
-Increased muscle tone which produces increased stiffness and resistance to joint movement called rigidity
-Poor balance which increases risk of falls due and injury
These symptoms occur due to a “sensory mismatch” between your sensation and movement systems throughout the body. In other words, your brain does not realize how slow and how little you are moving, so it becomes your new normal and over time motion keeps getting slower and smaller.
Best physical therapy treatment for PD
LSVT BIG treatment with a certified clinician is critical. COLPT is pleased to have Matthew Kelly, DPT on our team who is a certified provider. LSVT BIG treatment helps to decrease the “sensory mismatch” and gives the patient the tools to independently manage their symptoms.
The focus in LSVT BIG is Big movements, High intensity/effort throughout each session to increase the sensorimotor system in the body and brain and Sensory Calibration which decreases the mismatch between body and brain thus normalizing what the patient feels.
Benefits from following a course of LVST BIG
-Increased gait speed
-Increased trunk rotation
-Improvement in independent daily function
LSVT BIG Program is a commitment
-16 sessions over 4 weeks
-1 hour one on one sessions with the therapist
-Daily home exercise program
-Focused on increasing patient independence with daily activities
-Focused on what is important for the patient