LSVT

Banner Health offers LSVT, a proven and effective treatment program for patients with Parkinson’s disease and other neurological disorders that can help them improve voice and mobility needed for daily living. Our LSVT-certified clinicians customize a treatment plan for each patient’s specific needs, following LSVT’s evidence-based program to achieve maximum results.

What Is LSVT?

LSVT stands for Lee Silverman Voice Treatment. It’s an effective, evidence-based treatment program that helps patients with Parkinson’s disease and other neurological disorders improve communication and movement. Only LSVT-certified health care providers, such as Banner Health’s speech, physical and occupational therapists, can deliver LSVT.

Dr. Lorraine Ramig created LSVT in the 1980s. The program started with LSVT LOUD, which focuses on speech therapy to improve communication needed for daily living. In the early 2000s, the program expanded with LSVT BIG, which focuses on physical or occupational therapy to improve mobility and movement needed for daily function.

Who Can Benefit from LSVT? 

LSVT LOUD and LSVT BIG therapy protocols address the symptoms and challenges commonly experienced in Parkinson’s disease or other neurological conditions. Particularly if treatment begins in earlier stages of the disease, LSVT can be very effective in keeping a patient’s voice and movements strong.

How Does LSVT Work? 

LSVT programs help patients recalibrate their bodies to understand what “normal” feels like. Patients with Parkinson’s disease or other neurological conditions often have difficulty speaking and moving, making their voice and movements smaller. Patients using LSVT may find it to be “too loud” or “too big”, but it’s actually normal. Patients learn to independently identify this increased volume or movement as normal and automatically adjust. 

LSVT is customized to each patient’s specific needs, at any disease stage or severity. LSVT LOUD and LSVT BIG can be used together or individually.

LSVT LOUD

LSVT LOUD uses vocal loudness to help patients adjust their voice to achieve a normal, healthy volume in everyday life. Use a louder voice, patients perform frequent and intense vocal cord exercises. Often these exercises seem strange at first, but over time, patients learn to recognize the louder voice as normal. 

LSVT BIG

Like LSVT LOUD’s use of “too loud” voice exercises, LSVT BIG uses quick, explosive movements that may seem “too big” to a patient with Parkinson’s disease or other neurological condition. These exaggerated movements reteach patients how normal movement should feel. The goal is for patients to habitually use a big movement, which can help them move better and more safely.

What to Expect from LSVT

LSVT treatments are delivered by LSVT-certified clinicians. Each patient receives a customized treatment plan that follows the same LSVT program structure:

  • Four consecutive weeks
  • Four, one-hour sessions per week
  • Home exercises daily

During the one-hour sessions, your therapist works with you to “think loud” to “speak loud” and/or “think big” to “move big”. Your therapist leads you through exercises to teach you to exaggerate your volume or movement to achieve normal, functional levels. Improvement is often measured using video documentation to show patients their progress.

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