"Big reach forward, down, up and out. Keep those fingers big." You would not know Ted Sobo is 80 years old. The retired attorney is sharp as a tack. Recently, however, he noticed his body changing. "Oh yeah, no question about it; Just getting up and out of a chair and just being able to walk distances." After Ted’s legs couldn't get him across the pool, his doctor diagnosed him with Parkinson's disease.

Parkinson's is a progressive, neurological disorder that affects your body's ability to deal with dopamine. Along with developing a tremor in most cases, a person’s movements usually become smaller, too. That is why what physical therapist Jessie Fisher does is so important. "For a Parkinson’s patient to move a normal move the way you and I move - it has to feel like an exaggerated big movement." Retraining your brain takes a lot of practice and patients now have a new place to get in those reps.

Northern Nevada Medical Center just opened its new Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine office in south Reno on Steamboat Parkway. While they cater to all patients, Jessie and her partner are both "LSVT Big" certified. Funded by the National Institutes for Health, this treatment protocol is customized specifically for Parkinson’s patients. "We are actually the only outpatient therapists in the entire region who are certified." She says the method is scientifically-proven to improve balance, walking and daily activities. "What are the things you're having difficulty with at home?  Are you having difficulty with tying your shoes, getting your socks on and off, getting dressed?" Most of the exercises only require a chair, so they are easy to practice at home – morning and night. Coupled with medication, Ted says this physical therapy helps. After four, hour-long sessions a week for four weeks, he feels better and has no plans of slowing down. "There's never a day that goes by that I don't do something to get those legs moving and keep those muscles doing what they're supposed to be doing."

To learn more about the new facility, call 775-386-2244.

Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine Center

1091 Steamboat Parkway, Suite 240, Reno, Nevada 89521