Free Assessment Schedule Appointment
HealthQuest Physical Therapy Parkinsons disease

Parkinson’s Disease (Big and Loud)

Get back to activities you love!

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second most common degenerative brain disorder, after Alzheimer’s disease. PD is more common in men than in women.  Most often, symptoms begin when people are around 60 years of age. Symptoms typically include stiffness (rigidity), shaking (tremor), slowness with movement, and balance problems. Because of these symptoms, people with PD are at risk of falling and breaking their bones. Treatment includes a combination of medication and physical therapy.

The symptoms of PD can be very mild at first. A common early symptom is a tremor in one hand, most often when you are at rest. It might look like you are rolling a pill between your thumb and forefinger. Tremors also can occur in your legs or jaw when you are at rest. Since the tremors are most apparent during rest, they usually go away when moving and typically don’t interfere substantially with daily function.

Your treatment plan will be developed after an extensive evaluation by your physical therapist. The examination will include many questions about how your PD affects your life. Tests will be conducted to examine your posture, strength, flexibility, walking, balance, and coordination.

Your physical therapist will help you stay as active and as independent as possible. You will be taught special exercises and techniques to combat the symptoms of PD. Depending on the nature and severity of your condition, your treatment program may focus on treatment to help you:

  • Improve your fitness level, strength, and flexibility
  • Develop more effective strategies to get in and out of bed, chairs, and cars
  • Turn over in bed more easily
  • Stand and turn to change directions more efficiently
  • Improve the smoothness and coordination of your walking
  • Improve your ability to perform hand movements
  • Decrease your risk of falling
  • Climb and descend stairs and curbs
  • Do more than 1 task at a time more efficiently
  • Participate in activities that are important to you

Parkinson disease can make daily activities seem frustrating and time-consuming. Your physical therapist will become a partner with you and your family to help you combat and manage the symptoms of PD. As your condition changes, your treatment program will be adjusted to help you be as independent and as active as possible.

Some people with PD benefit from using a cane, a walker with wheels, or a walker with a laser beam. Your physical therapist can work with you to determine if any of these devices may be helpful to you. If you need physical assistance to help you with moving in bed or getting out of a chair, your physical therapist can team with you and your family to teach strategies to make moving easier and help prevent injury. In addition, your physical therapist can make suggestions on changes to your home environment to optimize safe and efficient daily function at home.

Because PD affects each person differently, your physical therapist will partner with you to manage your specific situation — now and as your condition changes. You are not alone! Call us today (855)477-8463 or take advantage of our FREE Assessment!


BIG & LOUD is a specialized Physical Therapy treatment program designed for those with Parkinson’s, proven to improve function and slow motor deterioration by retraining sensory, motor and cognitive functions through intensive exercise and patient empowerment.

The BIG therapy program is a standardized exercise approach developed from 20 years of research and has shown documented improvements in balance, trunk rotation and faster walking with bigger steps. The program trains patients to make bigger movements and teaches the amount of effort required to produce normal movements in real world, everyday activities.

The BIG program is an adaptation for muscular disorders of the clinically proven Lee Silverman Voice Training (LSVT) LOUD method, which was developed in 1987 to improve voice and speech in individuals with Parkinson’s disease. Those principles that made LSVT LOUD an effective treatment for the speech motor system have now been successfully applied to the limb motor system. The BIG program applies the principles and approach of LSVT® LOUD to improve major motor skills such as walking, moving of the arms and legs, and balance. BIG training increases the size of limb and body movement (“bigness”) in people with Parkinson’s disease, which leads to improvements in the quality and speed of movement, balance, and quality of life. The program utilizes many repetitions of movements that are used in daily living with varying complexity and intensity to improve carryover once patients complete the program.

The BIG and LOUD therapy programs are offered at our Clawson, Lake Orion and Rochester Hills Central locations.

Call today to schedule your FREE injury or pain assessment (855) 477-8463. Offering locations in Oakland, Macomb and Lapeer Counties throughout Southeast Michigan. We are locally owned and operated rehabilitation health facilities, where our patients are more than a number…they are family!