LSVT Clinician Spotlight: Todd Exley, PT, FYZICAL Therapy and Balance Centers

Todd Exley, MPT, LSVT BIG Clinician

Franchise Owner/Managing Partner of FYZICAL Therapy & Balance Centers in McMurray, Bethel Park and Cecil in the South Hills of Pittsburgh, PA

Tell us about your journey as a therapist and where you work now at FYZICAL.

I graduated from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh with my Master of Physical Therapy in 2001. My undergraduate degree is a BS in Athletic Training. I have worked in private practice physical therapy for over 20 years. I have also worked in all levels of soccer, from youth leagues to professionally with DC United of Major League Soccer as the Assistant Athletic Trainer and Team Physical Therapist. My wife Megan and I returned home to Pittsburgh, PA, in 2007. In 2019, I was the managing partner of my current practice when we joined FYZICAL Therapy & Balance Centers. In 2020, Phil Firkins, DPT, became my business partner, and we now have three locations in McMurray, Bethel Park, and Cecil in the South Hills of Pittsburgh, PA.   

What led you to become certified in LSVT BIG?

The previous owner of our current practice, Cliff Milowicki, was certified in LSVT BIG. Rightfully, he believed that LSVT BIG was critical to maintaining independence with functional mobility for patients with Parkinson’s Disease. This program exemplifies our motto of “Exercise is Medicine,” and I believe it truly does help those patients who participate. Patients are able to identify our practice through the LSVT website; they seek us out specifically for this program!

How has LSVT BIG impacted your patients and their outcomes? 

LSVT BIG improves initiation of gait, and patients have reported less frequent falls after completing the LSVT BIG protocol. Patients, their partners, and caregivers are grateful for the gift of mobility and strategies to maintain or improve quality of life. We utilize our Safety Overhead Support (SOS) System during these visits, as this is a unique way to keep our patients (and clinicians) safe while challenging patients without the fear of falling. Sometimes, these patients return in six months or a year for a refresher; they may not dive fully into the 16-visit LSVT BIG program, but we’re still able to work on the principles of this program as well as the patient’s personal goals.

How has LSVT BIG Certification impacted you as a clinician in how you treat patients with PD or other conditions?  

I often use the principles of LSVT BIG with other neurological conditions, including post-stroke, MS, and balance disorders. The physical therapy profession is rewarding; I genuinely enjoy helping others, and when working with patients in the LSVT BIG program, I get to know them and their families! My church is affiliated with a local gym that offers a Parkinson’s support group and Parkinson’s-related exercise programs like movement with boxing. I’m honored to be connected with this group inside and outside of my clinic.

What surprised you most when you took the LSVT BIG Training and Certification Course and/or when you started providing LSVT BIG to patients? 

I was pleasantly surprised by the support of LSVT Global and the Parkinson’s Foundation.  They provide a database of LSVT BIG certified clinicians, which helps to connect patients to clinicians, and neurologists encourage patients with PD to seek LSVT BIG certified clinicians. The LSVT BIG protocol consists of 16 visits with a frequency of 4x/week for four weeks. This can significantly boost clinic and clinician productivity and Medicare and commercial insurance reimbursements for LSVT BIG physical therapy visits.  

What is the best thing about working with patients who have neurological or balance conditions at FYZICAL?  

The patients are grateful for your assistance in helping them maintain independence and reduce the risk of falls. Through our consistent training, patients leave the clinic with improved confidence in their abilities. Coaching and witnessing these improvements provides an intrinsic reward to the clinician. 

We take great pride in our partnership with FYZICAL Therapy and Balance Centers, where we offer LSVT BIG Training and Certification opportunities to clinicians across more than 500 FYZICAL franchises spanning 46 states. Through this collaboration, we aim to empower countless individuals living with Parkinson’s disease and various other conditions, enhancing their balance, mobility, and overall functionality, the very outcomes for which LSVT BIG is renowned. Given FYZICAL’s outstanding reputation for providing personalized care, exemplary neurological rehabilitation, and comprehensive health and wellness services, our partnership is a perfect alignment.

– Laura Guse’, Chief Clinical Officer LSVT BIG

Are you a therapist interested in learning more about LSVT BIG Certification? Or, already LSVT BIG Certified and interested in BIG for LIFE Training?

Are you someone who has received LSVT BIG or LSVT LOUD treatment and is interested in BIG for LIFE or LOUD for LIFE classes?