A new rehabilitation treatment method at Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital, known as “LSVT BIG,” is showing large benefits for people with Parkinson’s disease. While there is not yet a complete cure for Parkinson’s, treatment often helps people manage the chronic disorder and enjoy a better quality of life. One recently introduced treatment, is known as “LSVT BIG” because it’s a variant of the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT) Program for speech therapy, and due to the exaggerated movement exercises it employs. The program is proving to enhance control of limb movement and balance, keys to overall quality of life for Parkinson’s patients. More than two dozen people have successfully completed the intensive program through the hospital’s outpatient rehabilitation services.
One of them is David Smedley, 77, of Free Soil. Smedley was skeptical that the program would work, but was amazed at how the overstated motions helped him control the shaking and use his hand again.
Rachel Young, a physical therapist assistant, said, “It’s a very intensive program—virtually constant motion during each session. It doesn’t take long before patients see the benefit and how it helps to improve day-to-day function. For David, we saw significant improvement after just two weeks.” Patients are encouraged to make their exercises a life-long pursuit and return for periodic “tune-ups” with their rehabilitation specialists.