February 19, 2019
By Darrin Goyn, Physical Therapist at Sheridan Memorial Hospital’s Wyoming Rehab.
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurological disease. The disease is due to a loss of dopamine, which is a chemical messenger responsible for transmitting signals within the brain. With Parkinson’s, movement becomes slower and smaller over time. The more notable symptoms include hand tremors, slowness of movement, problems with balance, or a shuffling gait. In addition, the voice becomes weaker, and the ability to function in everyday life becomes limited.
There is no cure for Parkinson’s disease. However, there is help for those who suffer from its effects, regardless of the stage or severity of a person’s condition. Treatment for the disease includes medications, deep brain stimulation, and exercise.
Wyoming Rehab uses two evidence-based treatment programs called LSVT (Lee Silverman Voice Treatment) BIG and LSVT LOUD proven to promote strength, motor learning, functional movement and voice quality. The LSVT BIG program improves an individual’s ability to accomplish tasks in everyday life and boosts independence. The LSVT LOUD program enhances the ability to speak at a more normal volume. It makes living with Parkinson’s easier. Another great thing about LSVT BIG and LSVT LOUD is that it is never too late to get started!
LSVT BIG combines physical therapy with a home exercise plan to help Parkinson’s patients regain function. Treatment plans take each person’s individual needs and goals into account. The program focuses on the issues patients face on a daily basis.
In the physical therapy sessions, we reteach functional movement patterns to accommodate any activity. We train how and when to apply bigger motions to mimic normal body movements. Basic motor skills for self-care, such as the ability to button clothing, get up from a seated position and get in or out of bed becomes easier. Walking and balance improve.
Once a person completes LVST BIG, they can join our LSVT BIG FOR LIFE, which is a community-based exercise group for those people who want to stay active and fit.
Our speech therapist provides LSVT LOUD, the treatment program that improves voice and speech quality. Frequently, people with Parkinson’s may think their voice volume is normal when they may actually be speaking quietly. The LSVT LOUD program teaches the person to know how loud or soft they sound to other people and works to restore their ability to vocalize at a more normal volume.
A person with Parkinson’s will typically not realize their movement patterns are becoming slower and smaller. Family members or caregivers are often the ones who notice the signs of functional limitations. It is best then to seek advice from a medical professional.
Wyoming Rehab offers the full continuum of therapy services:
• Prehab prepares you for surgery
• Inpatient rehab supports your hospital recovery
• Transitional Care assures your return home is safe and successful
• Outpatient rehab optimizes your function
• Health and Fitness keeps you going strong
Wyoming Rehab: 307.674.1632