The LSVT BIG program is a well researched, well implemented treatment approach for lifelong change in movement for individuals with Parkinson’s disease. It is a structured approach that includes 7 different exercises that are performed every day as well as Functional component tasks that are individually tailored to each person’s needs. During the program, the expectation is that the exercises are performed 2x/ day and upon graduation 1x/ day for the rest of your life. It can seem like a lot of work, but it has been proven time and time again to improve walking, balance, and ability to complete day to day tasks with greater ease across the board in individuals with Parkinson’s.

The BIG program consists of an initial evaluation and 16 follow up sessions. It is intentionally structured to be completed in 4 sessions a week over the course of 4 weeks. While that may sound intimidating and a big commitment, the high intensity of practice is what allows for greater carry over and quicker improvement in symptoms. It’s very common within that first week to see movement quality and quantity change because of the intensity of practice.

I’ve had the opportunity to work with a variety of individuals with Parkinson’s at various stages with the BIG program. Everyone has improved in some respect, be that with balance, less reliance on an assistive device, smoother motions, etc. There is something to be had for every individual. The most recent individual I worked with had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s for 10+ years. After she completed the BIG program, she said she wished she would have completed the BIG program earlier in her diagnosis because she thinks she would have been able to make even more gains.

My encouragement is this: give the BIG program a try and try it early. The rigor of the program can be intimidating to some but I promise it is worth it and you will see a difference. No matter where you are  in your Parkinson’s journey, it is worth the effort.

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