Local residents learn benefits of exercise at free class hosted by Banner Boswell
SUN CITY, Ariz. (March 14, 2011) – More than 50 Valley residents learned how exercise can benefit patients with Parkinson’s disease at a free class Sunday hosted by Banner Boswell Medical Center in Sun City. The class included interactive one-on-one exercises led by more than 60 rehabilitation therapists – the capstone of a two-day training course to become certified in the LSVT® BIG therapy.
University of Arizona researcher Becky Farley, PhD, PT, created the LSVT BIG program to help patients combat movement issues typically seen as Parkinson’s disease progresses, such as bradykinesia, rigidity and tremor. The exercises are purposefully exaggerated to help patients become used to moving in a bigger way.
“Your brain tells you small movements are okay because it’s adapted to it,” Farley said to the class participants. “This therapy gives you something to fight back with.”
Physiotherapist Lynn Tullock traveled from Sydney, Australia to become certified in LSVT BIG. One of her patients, newly diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, offered to pick up the expenses for her trip in exchange for the therapy once Tullock is certified. Tullock is now the first therapist in Australia certified in LSVT BIG.
“I feel like I’ll be able to help more patients now,” Tullock said. “I want to raise the profile of this therapy and let people know about what they can do to help themselves.” Tullock plans to educate others about the therapy in hopes of bringing LSVT BIG to Australia.
Cave Creek resident Roy Cantrell, 67, attended the event at the encouragement of his doctor. Diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease three years ago, Cantrell practiced the LSVT BIG exercises with Tullock and said he is interested in doing something to slow down the progression of his disease.
“I know I don’t exercise enough,” said Cantrell. “I think physically it is going to be very good for me.”
More than 10 therapists from Banner Boswell, Banner Del E. Webb and Banner Thunderbird medical centers became certified during the weekend’s course, adding to the existing therapists available to Parkinson’s patients in the Northwest Valley.
About Banner Boswell Medical Center
Banner Boswell Medical Center is a 430-bed, acute-care hospital located in Sun City, Arizona. Founded in 1970, Banner Boswell offers heart services, cancer care, orthopedics, neurosciences, women’s diagnostics, emergency care, and medical and surgical services. Supporting Banner Boswell’s mission of excellent patient care is Sun Health, which encourages charitable giving to enhance health care delivery. Banner Boswell is part of nonprofit Banner Health, named a Top Ten Hospital System in the U.S. by Thomson Reuters, with 23 hospitals throughout the West. For more information about Banner Boswell, visit www.BannerHealth.com/Boswell.