LSVT BIG Therapy For Patients With Parkinson’s Disease

By James Ferrara, Lymphedema Therapist

Parkinson’s is a complex disease that progresses over the years, and to date, has no cure. It is a neurodegenerative disease that wreaks havoc on the brain, which, in turn, interferes with the body’s fine motor skills. The brain’s neurons (nerve cells) create dopamine, and the deterioration of this process is the cause of Parkinson’s disease.

In Parkinson’s patients, the dopamine chemical production slows down, and over time, it can be completely ineffective. Some of the first symptoms of early Parkinson’s’ disease are impaired sense of smell, constipation, and sleep disorders. These early signs are found in the medulla and the enteric region of the brain. Some patients will have diminished voices, develop rigid muscles, and show little to no expression on their faces within the middle stages of the disease.

Symptoms of the Disease
This cell death that occurs in Parkinson’s patients leads to continual deficiencies in movement and mobility like the following:
• Hand tremors
• Muscle stiffness
• Limb rigidity
• Loss of memory
• Confusion
• Involuntary twitching
• Shaking
• Slowed movement
• Gastrointestinal disorders
• Slouching and posture changes
• Diminished facial expressions
• Changes in handwriting (small/tight lettering)

As the disease progresses, it eventually reaches the brain’s substantia nigra region, which controls the body’s movements. Once this stage is reached, patients may have difficulty controlling their bodily functions and developing tremors and have jarring irrepressible movements.

Treatment Options
Currently, there is no cure; the main treatments are given through traditional pharmaceutical medications, which are available to slow down the development of the disease. Along with medication management, speech pathology, and physical therapy, there is a therapy called LSVT BIG for Parkinson’s Disease, and it provides remarkable results for many patients.

LSVT BIG Therapists are specially trained to offer specialized treatment for patients with Parkinson’s Disease.

According to LSVT Global, the following explains more details on the therapy’s offered and why they are making such a huge impact on patients’ lives.

LSVT BIG trains people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) to use their body more normally. People living with PD or other neurological conditions often move differently, with gestures and actions that become smaller and slower. They may have trouble with getting around, getting dressed, and with other activities of daily living. LSVT BIG effectively trains improved movements for any activity, whether “small motor” tasks like buttoning a shirt or “large motor” tasks like getting up from sofa or chair or maintaining balance while walking. The treatment improves walking, self-care, and other tasks by helping people “recalibrate” how they perceive their movements with what others actually see. It also teaches them how and when to apply extra effort to produce bigger motions – more like the movements of everyone around them.1

Because LSVT BIG therapy is customized to each person’s specific needs and goals, it can help regardless of the stage or severity of your condition. That said, the treatment may be most effective in early or middle stages of your condition when you can both improve function and potentially slow further symptom progression. Beginning your work with LSVT BIG before you’ve noticed significant problems with balance, mobility, or posture will often lead to the best results, but it’s never too late to start. LSVT BIG can produce significant improvements even for people facing considerable physical difficulties.1

With LSVT BIG, the patients learn to make large explosive movements that are controlled and precise. They are also encouraged to project their voice with various exercises, and in combination with physical movement, the outcomes allow patients to gain balance, improve range-of-motion, build muscle strength, flexibility and move as they did before Parkinson’s disease.

LSVT BIG® treatments consist of 16 therapy sessions (approx. 1 hr. each) that are 4 days in a row for 4 weeks. There are daily homework assignments and daily carryover exercises. Only LSVT BIG® trained clinicians can deliver the treatment sessions. This therapy is allowing individuals to move more freely and to achieve various levels of independence and confidence.


Therapist James Ferrara explained, “Many people are concerned about visiting a medical office due to COVID-19. My services are unique in that we come to you via our Mobile Outpatient Occupational Therapy Services. You don’t have to leave your home.”

James Ferrara is a licensed, experienced and highly regarded occupational therapist. He founded a mobile therapeutic company that will come to the privacy of your home to provide outstanding services.

Occupational Therapy
• Upper Extremity Orthopedic Injuries
• Work on ADL’s
• Home Safety Evaluations
• Work On IADL’s
• Strengthening
• Patient Education
• Functional Balance
• Transfer Training
• LSVT BIG for Parkinson’s Disease
• Lymphatic Drainage

James Ferrara is an Occupational Therapist, Certified Lymphedema Therapist and LSVT BIG® Certified. Graduated from Illinois State University 1998 with a degree in Athletic Training. Graduated from Sarasota School of Massage Therapy 2001, and Spalding University in 2006 with a Master Degree in Occupational Therapy and became a Certified Lymphedema Therapist from the Academy of Lymphatic Studies. LSVT BIG® Certified Therapist. Over 20 years of Therapy experience with 6 plus years in Outpatient Therapy and the past 11 years in Home Healthcare.

Insurance/Billing Information and More
• Medicare B provider (Bills Medicare directly for in home visits).
• Insurance—Will check network provider coverage/cost for patients, many will have only a co-pay!
• Provides outpatient Therapy to patients in their homes.
• The patient does not need to be homebound. This is Outpatient Occupational Therapy that travels to thepatients home.
• Uses appropriate PPE as recommended by CDC and tested regularly.


Source: 1.



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