What is LSVT BIG?

What is LSVT BIG?

LSVT BIG is a research-based exercise program developed from the principles of the LSVT LOUD program. The LSVT BIG program has been developed specifically for patients with Parkinson’s Disease. With over 20 years of research, the program has shown documented improvements of faster walking and bigger steps, improved balance, and increased trunk rotation.

How does the LSVT BIG program work?

The LSVT BIG program drives high-intensity and high-effort practice in order to teach the amount of effort required to produce normal movements. The exercises translate into bigger movements in everyday activities.

How long does the LSVT BIG program last?

The LSVT BIG program consists of 16 sessions. Patients attend four sessions per week for four weeks. Each session lasts 1 hour. Patients are also expected to do daily homework.

When is the LSVT BIG program appropriate?

Patients with Parkinson’s Disease can participate in the LSVT BIG program at any time during their disease process. However, research suggests that the earlier a patient gets into the program, the more beneficial it can be. The exercise program can be modified to accommodate patients at different levels of mobility.

What type of exercises will I be doing?

The LSVT BIG program consists of seven maximal daily exercises, five functional tasks, and one-to-three hierarchy tasks. The maximal daily exercises are standard exercises that all patients perform. There are two seated and five standing exercises. These exercises focus on sustained posture, trunk rotation, balance, and stepping. The five functional tasks are made custom to the patient’s needs. These are one step tasks, such as sit-to-stand, turning, backwards stepping, etc. The hierarchy tasks are also custom to the patient’s needs. These are more complex tasks, such as getting on-and-off the floor, getting in-and-out of bed, getting in-and-out of the car, etc.

How will the LSVT BIG program be customized to fit my needs?

The LSVT BIG program is custom made for each patient, dependent on the patient’s needs and goals. During the evaluation, the therapist will perform numerous standardized tests to determine the patient’s limitations. The therapist will also discuss in detail with the patient the challenges they are having and their specific goals. The program is then tailored to fit the patient’s deficits and goals through different functional and hierarchy tasks. The standard maximal daily exercises can be modified to be made easier or more difficult, based upon the patient’s level of function.

How do I get started with LSVT BIG?

To get started with the LSVT BIG program, you first need a prescription for the program from your doctor. This may come from your primary care physician or your neurologist. Then contact a facility that has LSVT BIG trained therapists. You can search for an LSVT Certified Clinician near you on the LSVT Global website.


Danielle Albin, PT, DPT, CSRS, LSVT BIG, is a physical therapist in the outpatient department at Gateway Rehabilitation Hospital. She has been a physical therapist for over 5 years with experience in inpatient rehab, outpatient, and skilled nursing facilities. She graduated from University of Kentucky with her Doctorate in Physical Therapy in 2013. Danielle is certified in LSVT BIG and also has her stroke certification (CSRS). Danielle is passionate about improving the way in which patients with Parkinson's Disease move and perform their daily activities.


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