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Parkinson's Therapy

Therapy and support at all stages for patients with Parkinson's disease

Senior woman working with a therapist


HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital Therapy offers therapy and support to patients with Parkinson’s Disease, at all stages.

LSVT (Lee Silverman Voice Treatment) BIG is an intensive physical and occupational therapy approach for people with Parkinson’s Disease which focuses on “BIG” movements. It was created following the success of LSVT LOUD, a speech therapy program. These programs have been developed and scientifically researched over the past 25 years with funding from the National Institutes of Health.

Older man with cane working with therapist

The LSVT treatment program

The LSVT BIG program consists of 16 sessions, led by a LSVT Certified Physical or Occupational Therapist — four days a week for four weeks. Treatment sessions run for one hour and include assigned home program practice for carryover of skills. The program focuses on high amplitude and repetitive motions performed with maximal effort, which helps produce bigger and more functional movements for daily activities. 

A referral from a physician or health care practitioner is required. 

LSVT treatment options

LSVT treatments can only be delivered by certified Physical, Occupational, and Speech Therapists. These providers use a single target of amplitude to address each area of function with a specialized approach. The approach is individualized to each patient’s limitations. LSVT BIG and LOUD are standardized treatment protocols, but they are also customized to the unique goals of each patient to include both gross and fine motor skills.

Patients in all stages of Parkinson’s Disease (PD) may benefit from LSVT BIG treatment. Those patients in Hoehn and Yahr stages 1-3 are the best candidates for LSVT BIG.  

Research shows that after LSVT BIG treatments, people with Parkinson’s Disease showed improvement on motor function testing. Improvements include:

  • Decreased fall risk
  • Increased independence with self-care
  • Faster walking with bigger steps
  • Improved balance
  • Increased trunk rotation
  • Improvements in activities of daily living such as bed mobility
  • Improved Motor Score