Clinical Specialties : Post-Polio Syndrome

Post-Polio Syndrome

While polio has virtually been eradicated in the United States, results from the disease still affect some 60 percent of the 640,000 survivors of paralytic polio. Post-polio syndrome appears in people who had paralytic polio and a residual loss of motor neurons. After a period of recovery, usually 15 years or longer, the patient begins to experience fatigue, muscle weakness, and possibly pain. These symptoms, when not attributable to other diseases, can signal post-polio syndrome.

Physiatrists are involved in the comprehensive treatment of post-polio syndrome including diagnoses and then management plans. Originally exercise was thought to be harmful, but PM&R physicians have found that an appropriate combination of stretching, strengthening, and conditioning helps post-polio syndrome.

Lauren T. Shapiro, MD, MPH
Assistant Professor