Jun 9, 2012

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Michigan



The Michigan Difference: 
Theme song for the University of Michigan Health System
Listen to the University of Michigan Health System's version of Hail to the Victors.
URL:http://www.uofmhealth.org/audio+portal#/1270228502044


Post-Polio Syndrome

Post-polio syndrome affects about 50 percent of people who have had polio. Even those who managed to work their way out of braces and spent 20 years or more without the need for assistance can start experiencing extreme fatigue, joint pain and muscle weakness. Our Post-Polio Clinic, part of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Michigan, utilizes the skills of a multidisciplinary group of experts to comprehensively treat people struggling with post-polio syndrome, from physical issues to emotional challenges.
Physical issues connected to post-polio syndrome include:
  • Joint pain
  • Loss of balance
  • Fatigue
  • Weakened muscles
  • Scoliosis
In addition, many people experiencing symptoms also deal with frustration, depression and fear. Because of this, we make sure to treat the emotional as well as the physical issues.
During your first visit to the Post-Polio Clinic we gather as much information as possible to get a clear picture of your health history and current conditions. We look at your range of motion, where you’re experiencing weaknesses, your lifestyle and any other concerns.
A variety of testing is conducted, including a muscle test and a gait evaluation. Once the entire history is collected and all the test results are in, our team creates a complete plan that may include orthotics, physical rehabilitation and referrals to other clinics within the University of Michigan, from Nutrition to the Sleep Center, Pulmonary medicine, Orthopaedic surgery and Neurosurgery.

An Experienced Team with Cutting-Edge Technology

The goal of treatment is to help our patients maintain their lifestyle as much as possible by helping them control their biomechanical issues, such as increasing balance by introducing an orthotic intervention, or using physical therapy to increase strength and stability. However, what’s most important is having the experience with studying and treating this syndrome so the prescribed interventions help the patients, not make their situation worse. For instance, sending a patient to physical therapy to work on a muscle that had been affected by polio can make the muscle more fatigued instead of making it stronger, resulting in a worsened instability problem.
A wide variety of orthotics – equipment used to support or correct moving parts of the body – is available, depending on each patient’s needs, from crutches and walkers to braces and scooters. Some orthotics also help decrease energy consumption while keeping the patient mobile, such as stance control systems – a type of long-leg brace that stabilizes the knee to prevent it from buckling, so while the patient moves the leg, the knee automatically unlocks to flex it during the swing phase.
Our polio research history is rich and we are continuing that tradition today, working on a number of orthotics improvements, such as working with carbon fiber to make braces stronger and lighter. Eligible patients are welcome to participate.

Schedule an appointment by calling us at 734-936-7175

México a la vanguardia en el Síndrome de Post Polio

Jun 4, 2012

Have wheelchair, will travel

MY introduction to wheelchairs came early in life (I was barely in my teens) when my brother had to use it after he had several operations on his leg to correct damage caused by polio.

Then came another phase, and another form of the wheelchair — baby strollers. There are several types, and the choices available are quite dizzying. With four kids of my own, and countless nieces, nephews and friends’ children, “driving” and “dodging” with an occupant in the chair, albeit a small one, became second nature, like driving a car or riding that bicycle.
Looking back, it seems as though I had pushed someone in a wheelchair or stroller nearly my entire life. When my son Omar could not walk until he was five years old, we had to progress from baby strollers to push-chair and later, wheelchair.
It was easy when he was a baby. It was still fine when he became a toddler. It was when he was past three that finding the right chair became difficult. Those available became too small. There were no strollers big and sturdy enough for him. The regular wheelchairs, on the other hand, were too big. I felt like I was caught in the story of The Three Bears. We finally found the perfect one but we had to wait as it had to be specially ordered from Australia.
Omar is 21 now. Though he can walk, he still needs his wheelchair on those long, tricky trips. We always have to be mindful and remember that Omar is hemiplegic and tires easily.
Then came the time when my parents needed to use the wheelchair too. I became even more adept at it. My late parents loved to travel, and we went on many trips together. When their knees started giving them problems and walking distances became a chore, they were depressed about the possibility of not being able to travel anymore. At that time, using the wheelchair was not an option because they felt it was a blow to their image. It embarrassed them to be seen as weak and old. Public use of a wheelchair was not a common sight.
I bought one for them anyway and left it at the house so that they could get used to the idea and to let them have a feel for it. We had several practice runs around the house. It became like a game for them and they took turns at it. I also showed them how easy it was to use, and how they could be wheeled right to the dining table. They liked that.
Then I persuaded them to use it at the hospital during their check-ups. It was always a long walk to the hospital and sometimes there weren’t enough chairs for everyone. My parents took a liking to the fact that they didn’t have to walk so far, that they had an easy ride at the hospital, that they had a ready seat anywhere while waiting for their turn at the clinic, and that they received preferential treatment as an elderly in a wheelchair.
Our first venture out with a wheelchair was a trip to Beijing, China. We joined a tour group with 30 strangers, lugging along a wheelchair shared between my parents. In those days, the use of a wheelchair for someone who was not paralysed or had a leg in a cast was a rare sight. My parents looked hale and hearty and thus caused quite a stir wherever they went. Besides, it was unusual for an infirm person to be out and about in public.
In one incident when I was pushing my mother in a wheelchair along a row of shops, a shopkeeper excitedly exclaimed to his neighbours that a miracle had just happened because a “paralysed” person was able to walk just to buy something from his shop. He later realised that mum was not paralysed but just being practical about her weakened legs. We had a good laugh, and this became the group’s standing joke for the entire trip.
During this trip, my father took a liking to the wheelchair too. Not only did he enjoy similar attention wherever we went in Beijing, but also because it did not tire him out as he had anticipated. The wheelchair was a blessing, he claimed.
He actually felt liberated and was so happy that he could still travel and see the world. All they needed was someone to accompany them on those trips, which my siblings and I took turns to follow.
My parents went to many more places and had grand adventures with their wheelchair in tow. All of us became skillful with the wheelchair, how to manoeuvre it safely.
Some people still have hang-ups about using a wheelchair. I’m just glad my parents didn’t as it gave them many years of being able to life their lives to the fullest. I guess this is what quality of life is all about.
(Next week: How to use the wheelchair safely) Read more:
México a la vanguardia en el Síndrome de Post Polio

Polio Film

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/polio/

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México Post Polio Una Vida Un Camino Una Experiencia
http://postpoliosinmex.blogspot.com/

Post Polio LITAFF A.C.

www.postpoliolitaff.org/
Postpoliolitaff.- Asociación Post Polio Litaff A.C Primera Organización oficial sobre Síndrome de Post Poliomielitis En México.


Polio y Efectos Secundarios SPP
http://polioyspp.blogspot.com/
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