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  • Post Polio Syndrome

    • Post Polio

      Polio is a viral condition that used to be common worldwide until the global vaccination programme successfully eradicated the virus in all but two countries. Many polio survivors live with the long-term effects of the virus such as muscle wasting, reduced bone density, spinal deformity, pain and respiratory difficulties due to the muscle paralysis from the initial onset of illness.

      Over the recent years, many survivors report a return or worsening of the muscle weakness, many years after the original infection. This is now being diagnosed as Post-Polio Syndrome (PPS).

      PPS can include a wide range of symptoms that can develop over time. These can include fatigue, new or worsening muscle weakness, muscle and joint pain, sleep apnoea, intolerance to cold, although this list is not exhaustive.

      PPS is rarely life-threatening, although some people can develop breathing and swallowing difficulties which can lead to serious problems such as chest infections.

    • Treatment for the condition

      If you have been diagnosed with PPS or are experiencing mobility issues as a Polio survivor there are wide range of treatments and professionals who can help you to manage the symptoms and improve your quality of life.

      The specialist service at Guys and St Thomas Fox Lane Unit can provide a 3-week rehabilitation programme including multidisciplinary assessment, advice and diagnoses. For information on referrals, please contact your GP or the Lane Fox unit directly.

      Physiotherapy management includes advice and strategies for fatigue, pain management, joint range of movement, stability and balance, falls prevention and exercise guidance both for strength and cardiovascular fitness. This will also involve assessment and review of walking aids. Physiotherapy can also help with maintenance and management of respiratory function.

      Occupational Therapists will also be able to advise on techniques and adaptations that may assist you with activities of daily living, alongside fatigue management to ensure you can optimise your daily function.

      Orthotists provide assessment, review and alterations to orthotics and calipers that can give you stability and aid mobility and function. There are private and NHS providers nationally.

      Other professionals who may be able to assist you include Psychologists and Dieticians.

      The British Polio Fellowship has a wealth of information on both Polio and Post Polio Syndrome for survivors and health care professionals.

    • How PhysioFunction can help with post polio
      • Aquatic Physiotherapy/ Hydrotherapy - Many clients have benefitted from the warm and supportive environment of the hydrotherapy pool for functional and specific exercise. This can be either through 1:1 sessions with your Physiotherapist, or through the PPS group which you can enquire on through the Northampton Branch of the British Polio Fellowship.
      • Hands on Physiotherapy - This can include manual therapy such as joint mobilisation, massage and manipulation, taping, acupuncture and pain relief modalities.
      • Respiratory care - Our physiotherapists will be able to assist, treat and advise on management of your respiratory care.
      • Alter G - Our anti-gravity treadmill offers support of up to 80% weight relief for both standing, balance training and walking activities. The weight relief often allows clients to walk and stand with minimal support of the arms thus allowing development of postural muscles in standing and reducing the overuse and strain on the upper body. Clients are able to walk and stand for significantly longer, without the levels of fatigue and pain.
      • Group exercise and TeleRehab - PhysioFunction provide a weekly exercise group via our TeleRehab service on Zoom. Clients can take part in the comfort of their home and will be advised on equipment which can be used to enhance the programme.

      Please either contact the Northampton Branch of the British Polio Fellowship, Mike Jackson, or PhysioFunction for information on these groups.

      Other services and technologies which can be beneficial to this client group include:

      • G Move
      • Lite Gait
      • MindMotion Go
      • Gripable
    • Useful links

    We currently accept the following Private Medical Insurance