June 2015 NewsFlash

Access Physical Therapy therapist, assistant now certified in exercise program that can help Parkinson’s patients improve movement, quality of life

Physical Therapist Kristin Banse and Physical Therapist Assistant Ellen Knapp-Hayden of Access Physical Therapy & Wellness have been certified in the practice of LSVT BIG®, a four-week exercise treatment program that can help people with Parkinson’s Disease improve their balance, their walk and their overall quality of life.
Based on the principle that the brain can learn and change, LSVT BIG® grew out of an existing program to help Parkinson’s patients with speech, the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT). According to the program website,, research on LSVT® use over the last 15-plus 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 Parkinson’s patients.
Banse and Knapp-Hayden, who practice at Access Physical Therapy’s Port Jervis office, became certified in May in LSVT BIG® because they wanted to be able to better help Parkinson’s patients in the Tri-State Area. “We were looking for a forward-thinking therapy we could learn, that was needed in the communities we serve,” said Knapp-Hayden, a PTA for 12 years and a certified senior fitness specialist. She invites people with questions about LSVT BIG® to contact her or Banse at (845) 858-8999 or (888) 665-4696.
Banse further explained LSVT BIG®: “People with Parkinson’s Disease have trouble moving normally,” she said. “Their movements are usually slower and smaller and they may shuffle or freeze when they walk. Some experience falls and problems with their balance.”
In many Parkinson’s cases, a patient’s movement problems can be overcome when the patient is prompted – either by themselves or by another person – to move ‘bigger’ and better, Banse said. “For example” ‘Take a big step’ or "Stand up straight’."
Knapp-Hayden and Banse say they’re excited about the techniques they learned in the LSVT BIG® curriculum. “This course, more than any other I have taken, has opened my eyes to a new and exciting treatment that I feel can really help people with Parkinson’s,” said Banse, a 24-year physical therapist. Amanda Staffiero, a doctor of physical therapy in Access’ New City office, has also recently become LSVT BIG® certified.
Access Physical Therapy & Wellness is open weekdays 7 a.m.‐8 p.m., Saturdays 8 a.m.‐noon. They accept most insurances – and new patients can almost always be seen within 24 hours. For more information about Access Physical Therapy & Wellness, contact Stephen Albanese at 845-636-4344;

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Access Physical Therapy therapist, assistant now certified in exercise program that can help Parkinson’s patients improve movement, quality of life

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