Living With Polio

Trust Trainers?

Post-Polio Health, Volume 30, Number 2, Spring 2014.
Ask Dr. Maynard
Frederick M. Maynard, MD

Question: My husband had polio at age 8. He is now 71. His left leg has started giving out on him and he falls. He goes to a special trainer, but I’m afraid the trainer doesn’t know how to treat this. What type of exercises should benefit him, and what should he avoid?

Answer: Your husband’s leg weakness is most likely a result of post-polio syndrome. If his knee extensor muscle (quadriceps) has weakened to the point that he is falling, I would recommend he be evaluated by a physical medicine and rehabilitation physician before he continues on with his trainer.

The question to be evaluated is: How intense and frequent should he be exercising the weakening muscles? See links at left. Your husband should share these with his trainer, and until he is evaluated by a knowledgeable post-polio physician he should limit exercise on his weakening leg muscles to only nonfatiguing and low resistance types of exercise.

Tags for this article:
Post-Polio Syndrome