Parkinson’s Disease

For more information:

LSVT BIG™ Treatment for Individuals with Parkinson Disease (PD)

What is LSVT BIG™?

Recent studies using LSVT BIG have been found to be effective in improving the movements of people with Parkinson’s Disease. Specifically, therapy sessions for patients with PD focusing on increasing amplitude of limb and body movement (Bigness) in people with PD can improve trunk/limb rigidity, speed (upper/lower limbs), balance, and general quality of life. The protocol is both intensive and complex, with many repetitions of core movements that are used in daily living. This type of practice is necessary to optimize learning and carryover of your better movement into everyday life!

LSVT BIG™ is a globally standardized treatment protocol delivered by specially trained physical therapists who earn certification in this program. Treatments delivered by LSVT certified clinicians consist of the following:

  • Four consecutive LSVT BIG™ sessions a week, for four consecutive weeks
  • Sessions are individual one-hour treatment sessions
  • Daily homework practice (all 30 days of the month)
  • Daily carryover assignments (all 30 days of the month)
  • A singular focus on amplitude (increased loudness in speech; bigger whole body movements)
  • A focus on sensory recalibration to assist in generalization of increased loudness and bigger movements outside of the treatment room.

Patients should complete an evaluation with a LSVT clinician to determine if LSVT program are appropriate. A physician’s prescription for a medically necessary evaluation and treatment (4 days a week for 4 weeks) is required for LSVT BIG™

LIVE BIG with BIG for LIFE®!

What is BIG for LIFE?

BIG for LIFE is a community-based weekly exercise group for individuals with Parkinson’s Disease with a focus on improving ability to walk, balance, and perform daily activities with an emphasis on “moving big”. This class will be led by physical therapy faculty from SUNY Upstate and physical therapy students.

What are the goals of BIG for LIFE pilot study?

  • Investigate the impact of this weekly exercise group on motor function (i.e. balance, gait, strength, balance confidence), ability to perform activities of daily living, and quality of life measures such as sleep and depression.
  • We will test the hypotheses that participation in this exercise group may:
  1. Improve mobility level and balance confidence
  2. Improve performance of activities of daily living
  3. Improve quality of life, sleep, or depression

Potential Benefits of participation:

  • Will keep you motivated to practice exercises daily!
  • Will allow you to practice your BIG movements and gain encouragement from others who have Parkinson’s Disease.
  • Will have fun while exercising in a safe setting for free.
  • Will maintain or improve balance, walking, and ability to perform daily tasks!

Who is able to participate?

  • Diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease
  • Able to walk with or without an assistive device
  • Able to consent to participation

How do I get started?

  1. Please call Liz at 716-868-1114 or email
  2. You will be provided with a history and screening form to complete before starting
  3. You will be required to provide a medical release to exercise from your physician.

Class Dates and Time: Fridays 11:00-12:00
Location: 604 Old Liverpool Rd Liverpool, NY 13088
Cost: Free to study participants

Liz Yates Horton PT, DPT, NCS
SUNY Upstate Medical University Department of Physical Therapy Education