LSVT Big Program (Parkinson's Rehab) East Brunswick, NJ

LSVT Big Program (Parkinson’s Rehab)

LSVT BIG trains people with Parkinson disease (PD) to use their body more normally.  People living with PD or other neurological conditions often move differently, with gestures and actions that become smaller and slower. They may have trouble with getting around, getting dressed and with other activities of daily living. LSVT BIG effectively trains improved movements for any activity, whether “small motor” tasks like buttoning a shirt or “large motor” tasks like getting up from sofa or chair or maintaining balance while walking. The treatment improves walking, self-care and other tasks by helping people “recalibrate” how they perceive their movements with what others actually see. It also teaches them how and when to apply extra effort to produce bigger motions – more like the movements of everyone around them.

Because LSVT BIG treatment is customized to each person’s specific needs and goals, it can help regardless of the stage or severity of your condition. That said, the treatment may be most effective in early or middle stages of your condition, when you can both improve function and potentially slow further symptom progression. Beginning your work with LSVT BIG before you’ve noticed significant problems with balance, mobility or posture will often lead to the best results, but it’s never too late to start. LSVT BIG can produce significant improvements even for people facing considerable physical difficulties.


Section 4 LSVT Big Program (Parkinsons Rehab)

With exercises involving the whole-body — personalized for each person but all built around “Think BIG!” as a guiding principle — LSVT BIG reteaches you how normal movement should feel. Often these movements seem strange at first — too big, even though they’re comparable to those of people all around you. Over time, you learn to recognize these larger movements as normal.

Specifically, research shows that LSVT BIG treatment can lead to faster walking with bigger steps and arm swings, better balance and more ability to twist at the waist. Clinicians also report that LSVT BIG often helps people with buttoning their clothes, writing

and other smaller-movement (“small motor”) tasks, as well large (“large motor”) movements like dressing, getting up from a seat and getting into bed.

Because PD makes it harder to remember to use these bigger movements consistently, treatment includes a lot of repetition and progressive challenges, as well as daily home practice and assignments for using bigger movements in everyday life.

Ultimately, LSVT BIG helps improve the mismatch between what you feel you’re doing and what you’re actually doing, making you more confident, comfortable and empowered. With one month of hard work, LSVT BIG can open doors to a more active and independent life.



Accordion 3 1 LSVT Big Program (Parkinsons Rehab)

Studies have shown that LSVT BIG can help people in the early to middle stages of PD, but clinical experience indicates that the treatment can also help people with later-stage PD, atypical Parkinsonisms or movement challenges from other neurological conditions.

As part of their certification process, clinicians who use LSVT BIG learn when the treatment might be helpful for other conditions. While research on LSVT BIG has focused on people with PD, LSVT Certified Clinicians can adapt its exercises and functional tasks to help overcome challenges arising from a variety of conditions.

Outcomes for various conditions and circumstances are explained in more detail below. Ultimately, an LSVT BIG Certified Clinician is the best person to determine if treatment could help.

Accordion 3 2 LSVT Big Program (Parkinsons Rehab)

People with mild to moderate PD typically see improvements in faster walking with bigger steps, more range in trunkrotation and activities of daily living, such as getting in and out of bed or getting up from chairs. For many, using their improved movement skills becomes almost automatic — something they don’t have to think much about during everyday activities — and improvements have been documented in research to last four months without any further treatment.

People with more advanced PD (for example, Hoehn & Yahr stages 4 – 5) may also see improvements in walking speed, the length of their steps, range of motion and activities of daily living, though possibly to a lesser degree. They may also need periodic reminders from friends and families to “think BIG” and may need more frequent “tune up” treatment sessions. These outcomes are supported by our clinical work.

People with dementia or other cognitive impairments may have difficulty remembering to use the tools learned in treatment, but improvements are still very possible! A single cue (“think BIG”), repetition and intensity in practice during treatment all help people with cognitive impairments learn. Many become more independent and safer in their movements and activities of daily living, but may need friends and family to remind them to “move BIG”.

People with atypical parkinsonism have been helped according to clinical reports from LSVT BIG therapists although we don’t yet have research documenting results of this treatment for those individuals. While outcomes may vary, clinicians overall report that LSVT BIG can provide benefit to these patients in terms of:

  • Higher-quality and safer movement
  • Reduced secondary complications, including falls
  • Better maintained range of motion and strength
  • Improved quality of life overall

Accordion 3 3 LSVT Big Program (Parkinsons Rehab)Movement challenges related to other neurological conditions may also benefit from LSVT BIG. While current studies have focused on outcomes for people with PD, clinical outcomes indicate that LSVT BIG has the potential to help adults with movement issues arising from multiple sclerosis and stroke, for example.

In summary, LSVT BIG offers great hope towards improved functional movement and mobility for people with PD. Beyond PD, it can potentially offer help for movement challenges arising from a range of other conditions. Ultimately, an LSVT BIG Certified Clinician is the best person to determine if treatment could help you and, if so, determine the best course of action.


The standard LSVT BIG treatment spans a minimum of one month, including daily practice and carryover exercises. Once that initial treatment is over, you’ll continue to practice at least once a day for 10–15 minutes, which readies you to use your new movement skills all day at home or work and in your community!

However, it’s important to know that LSVT BIG is a life-long journey! A few things that can help you on that journey are:

  • LSVT BIG Homework Helper Videos – Follow along with one of our LSVT BIG instructors to practice your daily exercises.
  • Tune-up Sessions – When you finish the four week LSVT BIG program, you and your therapist will decide when to return for a reassessment. Periodic “tune-up” sessions are recommended to provide you with motivation and feedback to help you maintain the benefits of your hard work.
  • BIG for LIFE® – Community-based exercise groups for people who have completed LSVT BIG treatment, created to help you stay fit and have fun exercising with others. BIG for LIFE classes are intended to be fun, challenging, engaging and will provide participants with opportunities for social interaction while they exercise!


​(content and photos pulled from