Mar 25, 2014

Mar 24, 2014

What about Post Polio Exercice?

Post Polio Syndrome: Can exercise help or hurt?

Polio survivors of the epidemic of the 40's and 50's, are at risk for the occurrence of certain physiologic changes in the nervous system which result in a characteristic set of symptoms now known as Post Polio Syndrome. The late effect symptoms can cause further weakening of the limbs, respiratory, speech and swallowing muscles. The exact cause of post-polio is unknown. During the first, acute polio infection, the virus destroyed nerve cells that control limb and bulbar (head and throat) muscles, with subsequent weakness or paralysis. Once an individual recovered from the original illness, they spent the rest of their life compensating by using muscles that held remaining healthy neurons. Years later, 25-30 years, the compensating neurons become overworked and are no longer able to control muscles as effectively. When this occurs in the limbs, persons may difficulty walking or lifting. But when these changes affect the bulbar muscles ( muscles of the mouth and throat), swallowing problems (dysphagia), may be the serious and unanticipated consequence.

As health care professionals, we may encounter these individuals when they come to us as out-patients with a complaint of joint pain, swallowing difficulty or vocal fatigue. Or we may encounter them during an inpatient admission following an elective surgery, and, now with de-compensated movement or swallowing function.
Joan Headley, Post-Polio Health International and Barbara Sonies, PhD, CCC, BCS-S-Board Certified Specialist in Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders.
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