Frankie Stamps Sees Dramatic Results From Fauquier Health Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation’s LSVT BIG Program
November 17, 2023
Frankie Stamps, local community member, has an impressive resume of talents from pickleball and juggling, to underwater diving and over 2,000 skydiving jumps. Saying he tries to stay active is an understatement. What most may not know upon first meeting Frankie, is that he has also been living with Parkinson’s disease for just over 10 years now. After initially being diagnosed with the disease in 2013, Frankie quickly started to understand there are two sides of treatment for Parkinson’s – half is medication, and the other half is exercise.
Upon initial diagnosis, Frankie was introduced to the LSVT BIG exercise program. “The BIG Program consists of a very specific set of exercises that you are supposed to do twice a day in the AM and then again in the PM,” Frankie shared. “The exercises focus on big movements that are larger than life, so that when you do real life things, your movements are a bit more normal.” Frankie shared that those suffering with Parkinson’s are affected in different ways. For instance, some may have tremors that start on one side and eventually end up traveling to the other side, whereas some don’t experience tremors at all. He elaborated that a great deal of those living with the disease tend to experience a decrease in muscle movements and posture, almost as if they are shrinking in on themselves. According to Frankie, “When you retool your mind to do big exercises and force yourself to take big steps, it becomes seemingly more natural throughout the day. Eventually, this becomes your new normal.”
Several years later, in December of 2016, Frankie told his neurologist he was ready to take a refresher course to fine tune some of those skills he had once learned. However, due to the long commute, he was hoping to find a location closer to Warrenton. Frankie was referred to contact Fauquier Health’s Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation team, located right in the town of Warrenton. Linda Wise, his therapist at the time, worked with Frankie for a duration of about four weeks until he completed the program. Frankie completed 16 total visits.
Fast forward to the current year, 2023, it became apparent to Frankie that he was ready to take another refresher course. After discussing it with his neurologist, he immediately called Fauquier Health’s Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation department. At first, he wasn’t sure if he would still have the opportunity to work with the same therapist as he had in 2017. To his surprise, Linda was once again going to be his therapist. “She quickly remembered me because I teach people to juggle and I tried to teach her six years ago,” he joked. “She told me I haven’t really been practicing how to juggle. I told her, I haven’t really been practicing my BIG exercises, so I guess we are both in deep water.”
The difference this time around is that Frankie is actually working with two therapists – Linda Wise and Leslie Fidler. As LSVT certified therapists, Linda and Leslie apply a level of consistency and discipline to their techniques to ensure effectiveness. Linda is an occupational and physical therapist who is certified in the LSVT BIG exercise program. Leslie is a speech therapist who is certified in the LSVT LOUD program. Similar to BIG, LOUD is a separate therapy that focuses on increasing the volume of your speech and focusing on the pronunciations of your words. Frankie shared that the two therapies often cross over. For example, he found that others had a hard time hearing him when he spoke. Leslie was able to identify that it was not only related to speech, but the direction of speech. Frankie has been working on retooling the way he speaks to others by consciously making sure he is looking up or in the direction of the other person. Sometimes, those living with Parkinson’s tend to look downward which can muffle the volume of their voice. Frankie said, “The care has been excellent. My wife is so happy over the fact that I am standing up straighter and that I am doing a lot better.”
Parkinson's "BIG for Life" Exercise Classes
BIG for Life Community Exercise is an exercise program led by therapists certified in the LSVT (Lee Silverman Voice Treatment) technique for Parkinson's Disease. The classes are available for those living with Parkinson's Disease to complete targeted exercises and renew their enthusiasm for completing at home exercises. The bigger the movements, the better. To learn more or sign up for a class in the LSVT BIG or LOUD Programs, call Fauquier Health Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation at 540.316.2680.
Scan the QR code to learn more about the types of treatment options available for those living with Parkinson's Disease.
Fauquier Health Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation is part of the Fauquier Health Orthopedics and Spine service line. Fauquier Health is nationally recognized as a Center of Excellence for Joint Replacement by The Joint Commission.