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Post-polio is a syndrome that affects people many years after they have recovered from the viral infection Polio. It causes muscle weakness and fatigue, and slowly progresses with time. At Liverpool Neuro Physio we understand how these symptoms can affect your everyday function and activities, and the benefits of physiotherapy to manage these problems.
Poliomyelitis, commonly known as Polio, is a viral infection that affects the nervous system. Since the introduction of a vaccine in 1955, Polio has been almost completely eradicated in the UK.
However, people who had contracted Polio and successfully recovered may later suffer with Post-Polio syndrome. Post-Polio affects between 25 and 50% of people who have had Polio, and it appears approximately 15 to 30 years after the original infection.
Symptoms of Post-polio begin gradually and slowly develop to include:
The effect of these symptoms is a decrease in everyday function and mobility. The fatigue is made worse by exertion and the muscles that control breathing may also become weak, adding to the general decline in energy levels.
Post-Polio affects everyone differently, and symptoms can fluctuate as the condition progresses. At Liverpool Neuro Physio we understand the delicate balance between promoting strength and functional independence, and avoiding an increase in your fatigue levels.
There is no known cure for Post-polio syndrome and the symptoms cannot be reversed. However, there are many ways to help alleviate the effect of the symptoms.
At Liverpool Neuro Physio your specialist neurological physiotherapist would carry out an in-depth assessment to determine the extent of your symptoms, and find out from you how Post-Polio is affecting your general activities and function. They would then devise a treatment programme which may include:
Your physiotherapist will continually reassess your symptoms and adjust treatment accordingly, and will aim to work towards your own personal goals. They can also suggest the most appropriate way to exercise, which may include hydrotherapy treatment in a specially heated pool. Hydrotherapy is very effective in gently exercising muscles while avoiding increasing fatigue.
Physiotherapy treatment for Post-polio would aim to: