Parkinson’s

Hertel & Brown Physical Therapy offers a comprehensive rehabilitation program to treat Parkinson’s disease (PD). Kaitlin Galleher, DPT, is an LSVT BIG-certified therapist, and Karyn Polaski, MA, CCC/SLP-L, is an LSVT LOUD-certified speech language pathologist.  Together, they provide innovative and effective treatments to meet the needs of individuals living with PD that really can help them get better!

Kaitlin Galleher, DPT

LSVT BIG – Physical Therapy

LSVT BIG targets major motor skills to improve things like walking, limb movement and balance.

Patients with PD feel they are moving normally when they actually have reduced movements with reduced amplitude. They don’t recognize that their movements are slow or small, and they think they are moving too big when they are forced to make normal-sized movements.

LSVT BIG addresses the bradykinesia (slowness of movement) and hypokinesia (reduced amplitude of movement) of PD by focusing on increased amplitude of movement and larger movements. This leads to an improvement in self-perception and self-awareness of the amount of effort required to produce normal movements.

LSVT BIG re-educates and recalibrates the sensorimotor system, and the main goal is for the patients to accept and use bigger movements automatically and consistently in their daily lives.

Karyn Polaski, MA, CCC/SLP-L

LSVT LOUD – Speech Communication

LSVT LOUD is a type of speech therapy designed to improve both voice and speech by focusing on vocal loudness and immediate carryover into daily communication. In the past, patients with PD have been particularly resistant to speech therapy, but studies have proven LSVT LOUD to be an effective treatment. Those who have used it have experienced improved vocal loudness, intonation and voice quality, and they have maintained these improvements for up to two years after treatment.

Speech and voice impairment for patients with PD can be the result of reduced movements in the respiratory system (reduced breath support), larynx (reduced vocal loudness) and articulation (reduced clarity of speech). It can also be caused by a deficit in sensory processing related to speech, meaning that people with PD may not be aware that their speech is getting softer. They think they are shouting when they are really speaking normally.

LSVT LOUD improves vocal loudness by stimulating the muscles of the voice box (larynx) and speech mechanism through a system of exercises. The treatment improves respiratory, laryngeal and articulatory function to maximize speech clarity.

LSVT LOUD does not train people with PD to yell, but to bring the voice to an improved, healthy loudness level without straining. Patients are trained to become more self-aware of the amount of loudness needed to make their speech understood.

People with PD can get better, and we can help! Call us at 814.836.1970 today to schedule an appointment.