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Big and Loud Therapy can help people with Parkinson’s to improve their speech and motor skills. At the Holistic Healing Center, we are LSVT certified to provide Big and Loud therapy.
Parkinson’s disease is a chronic and long-term neurological condition with symptoms that typically worsen over time. The condition was first discovered and named by Dr. James Parkinson in 1817 and affects approximately 10 million people worldwide. Although the disease is more common in people over the age of 50, it can affect younger adults too, with Young-Onset Parkinson’s generally used to describe individuals who were diagnosed with the condition before the age of 50 and in very rare cases, people as young as 20.
Parkinson’s disease involves a loss of nerve cells in the substantia nigra (the part of the brain responsible for controlling voluntary movement and producing domaining) which then cause Parkinson’s sufferers to experience tremors and rigidity that makes it difficult for them to conduct everyday activities including things such as speech, movement, and basic bodily functions.
What Causes People to Get Parkinson’s Disease?
Scientists do not yet know precisely why certain people begin to lose their nigra nerve cells and end up getting Parkinson’s disease while others do not, but it is believed to be a combination of both genetics and environmental factors.
Genetics and Parkinson’s
Despite an element of Parkinson’s susceptibility believed to be genetic, it is infrequent for people with Parkinson’s to pass on their condition to their children. Only 1-2% of people develop the disease due to a casual inherited gene.
Environmental Factors and Parkinson’s
With the vast majority of Parkinson’s cases not caused by genetics, scientists have begun conducting extensive research into the environmental factors that could cause it. These include things such as:
A person’s age
As people age, their neurons are faced with more stressors, making them more susceptible to neurological disorders. There appears to be a clear link between Parkinson’s and age, with Parkinson’s now ranking as the second most common age-related neurodegenerative disorder after Alzheimer’s.
A person’s gender
Parkinson’s appears to affect more men than women and to cause men to develop more severe symptoms. It is not yet known if hormones or lifestyle factors are responsible for this disparity.
Their toxin exposure
Another leading environmental factor that causes Parkinson’s is exposure to toxins such as pesticides, heavy metals, and chemicals.
Whether they have had any head trauma
Scientists have hypothesized that a traumatic brain injury could cause Parkinson’s by causing inflammation in the brain, leading to the death of neurological cells
Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative disorder, meaning that symptoms tend to be mild at first and to grow in severity over time. There are many symptoms associated with the disease, but the three most common are:
Tremors and shaking tend to begin in the hands or arms and occur even when the limb is resting. Over time these tremors can spread and become more violent.
Slowness of moving
Bradykinesia (slowness of movement) makes it difficult for people with Parkinson’s to move around.
Stiffness and tension in the muscles can cause people living with Parkinson’s to experience painful muscle cramps and to lose control over their facial expression and body rigidity.
Although these are the three main symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, sufferers often experience a range of other physical and mental symptoms, including balance problems, loss of smell, difficulty swallowing, sexual dysfunction, depression, and anxiety.
Treating Parkinson’s Disease
Currently, there is no cure for Parkinson’s, but there are treatments available that can help to lessen the symptoms and to make a person more comfortable. These include drugs to replace or mimic lost dopamine, surgery to electronically stimulate the brain and physical therapies that can help with physical and mobility problems. Generally, surgery is only offered as a very last resort to very severe Parkinson’s sufferers, because it is non-reversible and can cause other severe side effects, leaving most patients to rely on medication and the services of specialist health professionals to control their symptoms.
Holistic Therapies for Parkinson’s Disease
There may not be a cure for Parkinson’s disease yet, but there are several therapies that can help Parkinson’s patients. These include:
Occupational therapy can help people with Parkinson’s perform everyday tasks that they need to stay independent at home.
Speech and language therapy
Speech and language therapy can help Parkinson’s sufferers adapt their speech and communication methods.
Nutritional counseling can help people with Parkinson’s maintain a healthy weight even while taking medication or struggling with activity.
LSVT Big and Loud therapy
Big and Loud therapy can help address movement and speech problems and improve a person’s quality of life.
What is LSVT Big and Loud Therapy
Here at the Holistic Healing Center we are LSVT certified to provide LSVT Big and Loud therapy. Big and Loud Therapy was first developed in 1987 and has since become a very popular therapy for Parkinson’s Disease. A highly intensive training program, Big and Loud therapy lasts for four weeks, with four sessions each week split between Big (movements) and Loud (speech).
Big and Loud therapy was designed to help improve speech and movement in people with Parkinson’s but is now also used to help patients with a number of other motor disorders. During the Big element of the training, individuals are taught to overcome movement issues, helping them to walk faster, improve their balance, grow their strength, and gain more endurance. During the Loud portion of the program, patients focus on improving their speech by regaining control of their breathing and increasing their volume.
Who can Big and Loud therapy help?
Although there is no evidence that Big and Loud therapy helps to stop the progression of Parkinson’s disease it can help sufferers to maintain their independence. Big and Loud therapy can be helpful for individuals at any stage of the disease, though can be particularly beneficial for those in the early stages where it has been proven to help delay the onset of motor symptoms.
Treatment for Parkinson’s at Holistic Healing Center
Here at the Holistic Healing Center, our team of multidisciplinary health experts is committed to your treatment and can provide you with a number of holistic options. Aside from Big and Loud therapy, we can also aid you with many other supportive therapies. To find out more, please call us on 732.252.6155 or email us to book a consultation. No script is required and we accept most medical insurance.
Meet Our Parkinson’s Team
Dr. Nancy specializes in myofascial unwinding, trigger point therapy, craniosacral work, lymphedema, and women's health.
Dr. Raj specializes in sports medicine, orthopedics, joint mobilization, and the McKenzie technique for the neck and back.
LSVT-BIG Parkinson’s Disease
Meet Dr. Bri, our Doctor of Physical Therapy that specializes in the LSVT (Big and Loud) Parkinson's program. It helps other neurological conditions, such as MS and many others, that affect movement. A patient who has suffered a stroke (CVA, TIA), can also benefit from this program.