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CCH offers occupational, speech therapy for Parkinson’s disease

CCH offers occupational, speech therapy for Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurological disorder. The first signs of the disease include problems with movement—shaking, stiffness, and difficulty with walking, balance and coordination, as well as difficulty with talking (speaking softly or quickly), hesitation, slurring and swallowing.

Physical, occupational and speech therapies can help with Parkinson’s disease

Although Parkinson's disease cannot be cured, physical, occupational and speech therapies can be very beneficial for patients with Parkinson’s disease.

A specific form of therapy for Parkinson’s disease is called LSVT training—and Campbell County Health’s Wendy Echols, MS, CCC-SLP; Shelbi Polvado, MS, CCC-SLP; and Laura York, OT, in our Rehabilitation Services department are certified clinicians.

LSVT stands for Lee Silverman Voice Treatment, which started with Mrs. Lee Silverman, a woman living with Parkinson’s disease. It was developed by Dr. Lorraine Ramig and has been scientifically studied for more than 25 years with support from the National Institute for Deafness and other Communication Disorders within the National Institutes of Health and other funding organizations.

LSVT programs are evidence-based speech, physical or occupational therapies and include:

  • LSVT LOUD helps people with Parkinson’s feel comfortable using a stronger voice at a normal loudness level. It can also help with swallowing difficulties.
  • LSVT BIG is about moving better and more normally, and was developed to improve a person’s ability to perceive their movements with what others see. Individuals with Parkinson’s and other neurological conditions will often move with small and slow movements that can lead to falls, or trouble moving around and completing daily activities such as writing, dressing and getting up from low chairs or even job-related tasks. Persons with Parkinson’s do not perceive movement normally; LSVT BIG can help patients improve their perception of movement.

Other health conditions that benefit from LSVT programs

LSVT programs can be useful at any stage or severity of your condition, but treatment is most effective in the early and middle stages. It has the potential to slow further symptom progression and improve all movements from handwriting to getting up from a chair. These programs can help patients reduce falls, increase independence, and improve their quality of life.

Although LSVT is specifically designed for Parkinson’s disease, other health conditions may benefit from the program such as:

An evaluation by a certified clinician will be able to provide more information. Due to the progressive symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, LSVT is a lifelong journey. An LSVT clinician will provide you with information and training to continue your new movement and speech skills in your everyday activities.

Therapy for Parkinson’s disease in Gillette, Wyoming

If you have questions on how physical, occupational or speech therapy can help with Parkinson’s disease, please contact Rehabilitation Services at 307.688.8000. Our compassionate and experienced staff helps each patient, in a team-oriented atmosphere, reach their goals. Visit www.cchwyo.org/rehab to learn more about treatment options.