Mar 5, 2012


          About postpolio syndrome
Decades after recovery from polio, many patients develop new muscle weakness and other symptoms that can lead to increased debility. Treatment is aimed at the most prominent symptoms. Medications may help, as well as physical therapy and a carefully paced exercise program. Screening for osteopenia and osteoporosis is recommended.
Postpolio syndrome affects an estimated 60% of “paralytic polio survivors, plus unknown numbers of patients who had subclinical polio.
Postpolio syndrome is a diagnosis of exclusion. Symptoms are related to new muscle weakness and may include muscle atrophy, myalgias, fatigue, and problems with swallowing and breathing.
No drugs specifically address postpolio syndrome. Pyridostigmine has had mixed results for treating weakness and fatigue, as have methylphenidate and bromocriptine. Modafinil may be helpful for fatigue. Nonsteroidal anti- inflammatory drugs are used to treat pain.
Rehabilitation professionals who have expertise in treating polio survivors can be va
Report #6779 4/9/96
People who have muscle and nerve diseases, such as post-polio syndrome and multiple sclerosis, usually do not exercise because their muscles hurt during exercise and they feel extremely tired after they exercise. A recent report in The American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation shows that can benefit greatly from a program to strengthen their muscles.
Your muscles are made up of thousands of individual fibers. Each muscle fiber is innervated by a single nerve. When a nerve dies, the muscle fiber that is attached to that nerve lacks a stimulus to make it contract, so that fiber dies also. Multiple sclerosis and post-polio syndrome destroy nerves, causing muscle fibers to disappear. When such people exercise, their muscles have fewer fibers, so the remaining fibers have to work much harder, fatigue earlier and take far longer to recover. Strengthening the fibers allows a person with nerve damage to do more work before the muscles fatigue during exercise.
However, all people who have nerve damage become extraordinarily weak on the day after they exercise. To avoid long recovery periods after exercise, they can start out by lifting very light weights in 3 sets of ten and stop exercising immediately when they feel burning, heaviness and fatigue. 
They can try again at least 48 hours later, provided that their muscles do not feel heavy before they start. When they can perform 3 sets of 10 with a certain weight comfortably and feel fresh on the next day, they are ready to try a slightly heavier weight in their next workout.By Gabe Mirkin, M.D., for CBS Radio News
1) JC Agre, AA Rodriquez, TM Franke, ER Swiggum, RL Harmon, JT Curt. Low-intensity, alternate-day exercise improves muscle performance without apparent adverse affect in postpolio patients. American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. 1996(Jan-Feb);75(1):50-58. 
luable resources in preserving function and preventing deconditioning.

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