KNOWLEDGE is power - both physically and mentally.
When physiotherapist Vicki Oshea's friend was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease she immediately set out to research what was out there to help.
When Mrs Oshea came across a specialist treatment for people with Parkinson's called LSVT BIG, she knew she could help improve the quality of life for her friend and other people with the disease.
"Traditionally Parkinson's patients will notice their movement gets smaller, their steps get smaller and it's much harder to move," Mrs Oshea said.
"They often freeze as well and this program increases the amplitude of their movement and helps minimise the freezing."
Having worked on just two patients so far, Mrs Oshea has already seen positive results.
"One of the chaps I have taken through the program recently got to the stage where he couldn't clean his teeth," she said.
"Now he can. The aim is to make the quality of life better."
LSVT BIG is based on the principle that the brain can learn and change, and aims to improve people's ability to make bigger movements.
"It gives you some direction and understanding of what you can do," Mrs Oshea said.
"The program itself is quite specific with some of those details custom made to the level of their Parkinson's.
"I do an initial assessment then we do a similar assessment at the end of the program to establish improvement.
"There's been some really good research that's backs up its effectiveness."
If you are interested in taking part in the program, contact Vicki Oshea on 0424 335 458 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The On The Go Physio website said 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
- Sustained improvements in movements that last up to three months post treatment