Perception is everything, or so the saying goes. For patients living with Parkinson’s disease that can be especially true as the neurological illness saps the connections between the muscles and the brain.
Patients who once thought nothing about walking a mile along the beach or spending the afternoon playing with the grandkids often find themselves struggling to take even a few steps or put on their coat because they don’t realize their movements have gotten smaller and slower. But a new treatment offers a surprisingly simple solution – think bigger.
Tidewater Physical Therapy is pleased to announce the certification of Powhatan Clinic Physical Therapists Heather Vaughan, PT, DPT and David Standley, PTA, using an innovative and specialized treatment for those suffering from Parkinson’s disease known as LSVT BIG.
The LSVT BIG treatment targets movement impairments typical of Parkinson’s patients that lead to a diminished scale of mobility and function. Through a series of eight specific exercises, the technique focuses on improving whole body movement including gait, trunk rotation, balance and fine motor skills. LSVT BIG is based on the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment, another Parkinson’s related treatment that helps patients who have had a decline in speech. While the voice treatment encourages patients to speak louder, LSVT BIG tasks patients with moving on a bigger scale. Patients in the LSVT BIG program undergo intensive treatment using a series of eight specific exercises that require patients to concentrate on making big motions, such as taking big steps or exaggerated arm movements. Patients in the program typically meet with an LSVT BIG certified physical therapist four days a week for four weeks.
Both Vaughan and Standley have a passion for treating patients with neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease. The physical therapists are excited to offer those patients relief through the LSVT BIG treatment.
“LSVT BIG works to recalibrate patient movements to normal patterns,” Vaughan said. “When that happens, you get amazing results.”
“I am very excited about the potential this protocol has for my patients and look forward to helping them make big changes in their lives,” Standley said.
Powhatan Clinic Director Jessica Myers, PT, DPT, MPH, CSCS, CMTPT, FMSC, said she is thrilled to provide this specialized level of care at the clinic and offer patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease and other neurological conditions the opportunity to improve their quality of life.
“Once I became aware of the benefits of the LSVT BIG program, I was eager to implement it in our clinic as our community has many members that suffer with balance and movement deficits who could be helped through this treatment,” Myers said.
LSVT BIG treatment is now available at Tidewater Physical Therapy’s Powhatan Clinic located at 3510 Anderson Highway Suite 2 in Powhatan. Call (804) 598-2100 to learn more or schedule an appointment.
About Tidewater Physical Therapy:
Founded in 1986, Tidewater Physical Therapy remains a physical therapist-owned, independent, outpatient physical therapy practice, with 35 clinics, aquatic therapy centers and Performance Centers located throughout Southeast and Central Virginia.
The physical therapists at Tidewater Physical Therapy Inc. hold Direct Access Certification through the Virginia Board of Physical Therapy allowing them to evaluate and treat patients without a prescription. As part of a healthcare team, a physical therapist will make an assessment of a patient’s condition and create a plan to start on the road to wellness. The Tidewater Physical Therapy team will communicate with a patient’s physician of record and obtain a referral, if necessary, for continued treatment. Tidewater Physical Therapy will also work with insurance carriers to establish whether services are covered by a patient’s plan.