BIG & LOUD Therapy Program

A physical therapy program at Wilson Health is helping patients with Parkinson’s disease to improve function and slow motor deterioration by retraining sensory, motor and cognitive functions through intensive exercise and patient empowerment.

The BIG therapy program is a standardized exercise approach developed from 20 years of research and has shown documented improvements in balance, trunk rotation and faster walking with bigger steps. The program trains patients to make bigger movements and teaches the amount of effort required to produce normal movements in real world, everyday activities.

The BIG program is an adaptation for muscular disorders of the clinically proven Lee Silverman Voice Training (LSVT) LOUD method, which was developed in 1987 to improve voice and speech in individuals with Parkinson’s disease. Those principles that made LSVT LOUD an effective treatment for the speech motor system have now been successfully applied to the limb motor system. The BIG program applies the principles and approach of LSVT® LOUD to improve major motor skills such as walking, moving of the arms and legs, and balance. BIG training increases the size of limb and body movement (“bigness”) in people with Parkinson’s disease, which leads to improvements in the quality and speed of movement, balance, and quality of life. The program utilizes many repetitions of movements that are used in daily living with varying complexity and intensity to improve carryover once patients complete the program.

Along with the BIG therapy program, the LOUD program is offered by speech-language pathologists at Wilson. Because it is common that individuals with Parkinson’s disease have difficulty being loud enough for people to hear, run out of air when talking, and avoid groups of people/conversations because of their voice, the LOUD program strives to increase patient’s success with communication by improving the patient’s voice and speech function. The LOUD program is designed to increase the loudness of one’s voice and improve speech clarity through repetitive tasks with varying complexity that lead to carryover in all daily tasks upon completion of this program.

The BIG and LOUD therapy programs are offered through the PT and Speech services at Wilson Health. Call your doctor for a referral if you think you or a family member may benefit from these programs. To learn more, call the Wilson Health Physical Therapy department at (937) 498-5332