Post-Polio Syndrome (PPS)

How Can a Physiatrist Help a Patient with PPS?

Long after recovering from the poliomyelitis virus, some patients may experience post-polio syndrome (PPS), a group of symptoms that typically appear decades after an initial polio attack. These symptoms appear, on average, 30 to 40 years after initial exposure. Approximately half of patients who had polio when they were young experience PPS.

This condition affects the muscles, causing weakness, pain, and muscle degeneration. PPS can affect muscles that were not apparently affected by the initial virus. The syndrome may develop slowly over time, with symptoms appearing prior to periods without change or further degeneration.

Signs of Post-Polio Syndrome

Some symptoms of PPS may include:

  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Breathing problems
  • Increased sensitivity to cold
  • Atrophy of the muscles
  • Increased fatigue without seeming explanation
  • Pain and weakness of the joints / muscles
  • Sleep apnea and other sleep-related breathing problems

A physiatrist could help you cope with your symptoms and support a treatment approach that enhances stability, strength, and endurance. Learn more about the benefits of having a doctor of physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R) on your team. Contact Washington Township Medical Foundation to learn more about our advanced physiatry program in Fremont, CA.