Post-polio syndrome (PPS) is a condition that can develop several
decades after a person has had polio (poliomyelitis). PPS affects the muscles
and nerves, causing weakness, tiredness, pain, and other symptoms.
Unlike polio, post-polio syndrome is not contagious. Muscles whose
nerves were damaged by polio are the ones that are affected by PPS. If the
muscles of the throat or chest were affected, for instance, a person may
develop swallowing or breathing problems. Symptoms of PPS tend to develop very
slowly. In addition to new muscle weakness, fatigue, and muscle and joint pain,
symptoms may include sleep problems, reduced ability to tolerate cold
temperatures, and increased stress.
Treatment for post-polio syndrome may include a balanced program of
rest and exercise, pain medicines, physical therapy, and assistive devices
such as canes or braces.
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Karin M. Lindholm, DO - Neurology & W. David Colby IV, MSc, MD, FRCPC - Infectious Disease
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