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Radio Guest Shares Physical Therapy Approach for Parkinson’s Disease

Clinical Physical Therapist Alicia Spiro MSPT, NCS, NDT, LSVT was Michele Thomas’ guest on the “Good Living” radio program on WGCH (1490 am) this week. Ms. Thomas is the Executive Vice President of Osborn Home Care (OHC), which offers professional home care services to residents of Fairfield and Westchester Counties.

Ms. Spiro specializes in treating individuals with neurological disorders with associated balance and walking problems. She is affiliated with Norwalk Hospital (a member of Western Connecticut Health Network) and teaches at Sacred Heart University. The interview focused on Ms. Spiro’s work with patients with Parkinson’s disease. She is part of the Norwalk Hospital outpatient rehabilitation team that assesses patients and establishes physical, speech and occupational therapies to help them achieve a higher level of function.

Physical Activity Beneficial for Parkinson’s Disease

One of the treatments that Ms. Spiro uses is called LSVT-BIG. This evidence-based protocol for patients with Parkinson’s disease focuses on maintaining strength and flexibility in both large body movement and fine motor skills. LSVT-BIG evolved from the well-known treatment for voice and speech disorders associated with Parkinson’s called Lee Silverman Voice Therapy (LSVT-LOUD).

Ms. Spiro is a firm believer in the power of a holistic approach that includes wellness activities that she calls ‘Power’ for ‘Parkinson’s Wellness Recovery.’ She uses yoga poses to maintain strength and flexibility, along with a non-contact form of boxing, Tai Chi, dancing and movement to music.

Typically insurance covers skilled therapies for Parkinson’s patients with the expectations of meeting certain prescribed goals. “It is known that exercise slows down the progression of Parkinson’s disease,” said Ms. Spiro. “But even when you’re finished with your therapy, you should not be finished moving!”

“I am very interested in modalities that work on areas of neuroprotection and neuro-regeneration,” she said. “I credit Michael J. Fox for raising awareness about this debilitating disease and showing how medication, diet and exercise can slow its progression and help people lead fulfilling lives.”

Osborn Home Care Helps Parkinson’s Patients at Home

Osborn Home Care offers short- and long-term professional home care in Fairfield and Westchester Counties. For more information, visit www.osbornhomecare.org or call (203) 292-1452 in CT or (914) 925-8221 in NY.

The Osborn also offers the LSVT-LOUD speech therapy for Parkinson’s patients on both an in- and outpatient basis at its Pavilion Rehabilitation Center in Rye, New York. For more information, visit www.theosborn.org/rehabilitation or call (914-925-8261).

The “Good Living with Michele Thomas” airs every other Tuesday at 9:30-10:00 am on WGCH (1490 am). To hear a recording of a past show, visit www.wgch.com and scroll to “Good Living with Michele Thomas.”

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