Parkinson’s Therapy

Parkinson's disease is a chronic and progressive movement disorder that affects the nerve cells in the brain that produce dopamine. Symptoms may include tremors, impaired balance and coordination, tremors, and changes in speech and gait.

While there is no cure for Parkinson's disease, there are treatments that may help to relieve the symptoms, include specialized therapy offered at the Maury Regional Physical Therapy Center in Columbia and at Lewis Health Center Physical Therapy in Hohenwald.

The LSVT BIG program is a research-based exercise program developed on principles from the Parkinson’s specific speech treatment LSVT LOUD. The 16-session treatment consists of individual one-hour sessions which take place over a period of four consecutive weeks. A team which includes occupational, physical and speech therapists oversees the rehabilitation process.

The LSVT BIG treatment program encourages intensive and high effort practice which over a period of four weeks produces normal movements that empower Parkinson’s patients with the potential to improve. Individuals with Parkinson’s are encouraged to begin the program as early in their diagnosis as possible. This will help establish a lifelong habit of improved communication and movement.

Studies indicate that nearly 90 percent of those with Parkinson’s will have speech problems starting early in the disease process. Common problems associated with it include mumbled or monotone speech as well as a soft or hoarse voice. These are typically not improved through medicines or neurosurgery. Treatment is the most effective way to improve speech and research has shown that the LSVT LOUD program has greatly enhanced the patients’ communication skills by improving both speech volume and intelligibility.