Leading Parkinson’s rehabilitation specialists on hand at Frankston

Since launching an intensive amplitude-based exercise program at St John of God Frankston Rehabilitation Hospital two years ago, the hospital now has the biggest group of LSVT® certified clinicians on a single site in Australia.

4 Apr 2017

LSVT Big patient Steve Apr 2017

4 April 2017

The LSVT BIG® intensive amplitude-based exercise program is designed to help people with Parkinson’s Disease improve their motor function including:

  • Walking faster with bigger steps
  • Improved balance
  • Increased trunk flexibility

St John of God Frankston Rehabilitation Hospital’s patient Steve, said he had noticed significant improvements in his own mobility after taking part in the program, following his diagnosis with Parkinson’s disease 12 years’ ago.

“Although the progress of the disease is different in every individual, I was determined not to let the PD define me. I took my meds and kept up a daily routine of training, but my fears of being in public and breaking into tremors or freezing were there every day,” he said.

“At age 60 I decided to retire and concentrate on my health and that is when, after relocating to Victoria from NSW, I signed up for the LSVT BIG® program at St John of God Frankston Rehabilitation Hospital.

“On completion of the program, I felt more confident and less anxious in public, mainly due to the fact that I had gained some more tools to improve the way I could control some of the symptoms.”

Steve said the exercises, led by the hospital’s extensive specialists, improved his balance, flexibility and strength.

“The exercises have improved my general flexibility, and fit in perfectly with my regular routine which focus on my core strength, they also introduced some new exercises which I have added to my own routine,” he said.

The hospital’s LSVT® certified specialist team includes physiotherapists, speech pathologists and occupational therapists, while other specialists, nurses and allied health professionals all collaborate to provide patients the best care available.

St John of God Frankston Rehabilitation Hospital Chief Executive Officer Sally Faulkner said the LSVT® program had proven to be an effective therapy for many patients.

“An important part of the LSVT BIG® program is the education component which is a series of weekly presentations by specialist team members on topics including falls risk and management, medications, mobility, community supports, relaxation and fatigue management, cognitive and behavioural needs, latest treatments and nutrition,” she said.

“Patients find this a good management tool and they can bring their family members or carers who may need to assist in some of these areas.”

“The feedback we have had from patients such as Steve is that not only are they moving better but they notice improvements in their mood, cognition, endurance and quality of life.”