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What is LSVT BIG?

LSVT BIG – a specialised movement programme for people with Parkinson’s disease offered exclusively in Canterbury by On the Go Physio

LSVT® BIG is an exercise treatment programme for people with Parkinson’s disease (PD). It is based on the principle that the brain can learn and change (neuroplasticity). It has been formulated from an existing programme to help with speech for people with PD called the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT). Research on LSVT use over the last 15 years has shown that it results in improvements in speech intelligibility and voice loudness. LSVT BIG works on the same principle, using a single therapy focus (BIGNESS of movement) to improve movement quality in PD.

Movement problems in Parkinson’s disease

People with PD have trouble moving normally. Their movements are usually slower and smaller and they may shuffle or freeze when they walk. Some experience falls and problems with their balance. For most, movement problems can be overcome temporarily when they are “cued” or prompted (either by themselves or by another person or thing) to move better (i.e. “take a big step”, “stand up straight”).

How does LSVT BIG work?

The aim of the intensive LSVT BIG training is improve people’s ability to make bigger movements. These movements can then be generalized for different functional activities and situations. Initial results of research show that LSVT BIG training leads to:

  • faster walking with bigger steps
  • better balance
  • increased trunk rotation
  • improved quality of life

How is LSVT different from usual physiotherapy for PD?

Traditional physiotherapy for Parkinson’s generally aims to improve flexibility, strength or balance to help actions like getting up from a chair, turning over in bed, or walking. This traditional approach breaks down each action but requires patients to remember multiple instructions for each movement goal. In LSVT, patients simply focus on one goal, to think BIG!

How does it work?

LSVT BIG is delivered by a specially trained physiotherapist over 16 therapy sessions (four sessions a week for four weeks). Participants are encouraged to perform a variety of BIG movements with BIG effort in a series of specifically designed exercises. The focus on one therapy goal (BIGNESS) makes it is easier for patients to participate in this intensive programme.


On the Go Physio is proud to be the first service in NZ to offer the LSVT BIG programme. We are currently the only service in Canterbury that can provide the programme. Like all On the Go Physio programmes, this service is delivered in a client’s own home. Please contact us for full detail,  and to book an LSVT BIG programme. If you feel you may not cope with the intensive programme we can still provide an initial assessment and discuss options with you.

To find LSVT BIG registered practitioners outside of Canterbury see


Please contact On the Go Physio for pricing.  0800 000 856

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