Post-Polio Syndrome

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Post-polio syndrome (PPS) is an illness that causes symptoms to reappear in individuals who had recovered from polio decades earlier. After recovering from polio, some survivors find themselves afflicted again, facing a serious condition called post-polio syndrome. PPS is a condition in the nervous system that affects muscles and nerves. What are the symptoms of Post-Polio Syndrome?

Symptoms of post-polio tend to show up in a patient gradually. There may be long periods of time when symptoms are stabilized and no sign of increased muscle weakness occurs. The symptoms of PPS include weakness and pain in muscles, fatigue, joint pain, breathing, swallowing, and intolerance to cold. How is Post-Polio treated?

Post- polio syndrome is a continuing condition. Treatment of PPS focuses on keeping the individual’s symptoms under control. It is important that post-polio sufferers stay active by exercising appropriately, despite their muscle weakness. Also, moderate weight lifting, aerobic exercise, and stretching may help reduce muscle pain. Resting is also important to individuals with PPS. Resting regularly helps limit fatigue that post-polio syndrome normally causes.

In addition, devices such as leg braces, crutches, or a wheelchair can help a person get around more easily if walking is becoming difficult. At this time, there are no cures or effective pharmaceutical treatments that stop the deterioration caused by PPS. There are pain medications people with PPS can take that help joint and muscle pain. If symptoms get worse over time for a post- polio syndrome sufferer, treatment needs will most likely change. References:

Web MD. http://www.webmd.com/brain/tc/post-polio-syndrome-topic-overview. “Post-Polio Syndrome.” December 8, 2011 Awake! “Once Stricken, Twice Afflicted” July 22, 2004.

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