Dave Dillon (credit: CBS)
PARKER, Colo. (CBS4) – Parkinson’s patients are getting “Big and Loud” as they try to enjoy a better life. It’s a new therapy program to ease their symptoms.
Dave Dillon goes “big,” reaching out with his arms wide and stretching his legs. He now exaggerates his movements in a big way, hoping it will make a huge difference.
Dillon is 55 and a software developer. About a year ago he noticed a tremor.
“Initially it was just a tension in my arm like a soreness or a tension, but then when the shakes starting coming, that’s when I decided to go see a neurologist,” Dillon said.
Dillon learned he had early stage Parkinson’s disease. His doctor prescribed LSVT, or Lee Silverman Voice Treatment, also known as “Big and Loud.”
Dillon is using “big” to improve his motor skills. The “loud” part is speech treatment. Parkinson’s patients often lose vocal skills.
“I don’t speak loud enough a lot of times,” another Parkinson’s patient said.
The Big and Loud therapy can bring them back.
“Every patient who follows the program and religiously does their exercises we see progress with,” Occupational Therapist June Hartmann at Parker Adventist Hospital said.
Dillon exercises with Hartmann at the hospital four times a week and at home daily. He says his strength and balance are better, and he can even run again.
“Even though it’s not a marathon or half marathon, just the fact that I can go out and run and enjoy fresh air just makes me feel a whole lot better,” Dillon said.
The therapy isn’t just for Parkinson’s. Any patient with a neurological disorder can benefit. They go “Big and Loud” for a better quality of life.