Shared peer advice from polio survivors about what works for them.

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Brian Tiburzi

New muscle weakness is the hallmark of post-polio syndrome and can significantly impact activities of daily living. Some amount of new muscle weakness is likely to occur in about half of post-polio individuals (Jubelt & Drucker, 1999). Muscle weakness is most likely to occur in muscles previously affected during the acute poliomyelitis followed by a partial or full recovery (Cashman …

(Complementary) Alternative Therapies

Brian Tiburzi

Alternative therapies, also called complementary, can support natural self-healing and encourage behaviors that promote a sense of overall well-being. Some alternative therapies originated in diverse cultures and in earlier times; others have emerged from new discoveries in science. In one survey, the use of alternative therapies by people with disabilities was higher than in the general population (Krauss et al., …

Yoga for Polio Survivors

Brian Tiburzi

“Our goal in this video is to introduce Hatha yoga, breath awareness and stress reduction to people with Post-Polio Syndrome in order to increase their energy, reduce fatigue and create an increased sense of well-being. These exercises and postures can be modified according to one’s abilities and limitations and can be utilized and integrated with most other medical treatment plans …

Aquatic Therapy

Brian Tiburzi

Aquatic therapy programs, one of the best forms of exercise for polio survivors due to reduced gravity and buoyancy, may include a combination of the following: range-of-motion, strengthening, or aerobic exercises, stretching, relaxation, and swimming. Before establishing an aquatic therapy program, consult with a medical professional familiar with the late effects of polio to design one based on the individual’s …

PHI’s Statement on Exercise for Polio Survivors

Brian Tiburzi

Advising all polio survivors not to exercise is as irresponsible as advising all polio survivors to exercise. Current evidence suggests that exercises are often beneficial for many polio survivors provided that the exercise program is designed for the individual following a thorough assessment and is supervised initially by knowledgeable health professionals. Polio survivors and their health professionals who are knowledgeable …

Pflex® (my new friend) and More and Physician Response

Brian Tiburzi

Carol Wallace, MEd, Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, Austin, Texas I contracted polio in 1951 at age 5. Acute and rehabilitation hospitalization totaled two-and-a-half years with six months of iron lung treatment. Both my upper extremities and are paralyzed with only partial and weak right-hand motor function. As an adult, my forced vital capacity averages 48 percent. I require noninvasive mechanical ventilation …

Proven Energy Boosts

Brian Tiburzi

Carol Elliott, polio survivor These are exercises that I find useful in bringing more energy into my daily life. These routines, practiced alone or in combination, have helped revitalize my daily challenge with PPS. Most of these stretches and gentle exercises can be done while seated. As always, check with you healthcare provider to be sure these activities are suited …

Options When a Post-Polio Clinic Is Not an Option

Brian Tiburzi

Carol Vandenakker, MD Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation University of California, Davis, Health System Sacramento, California Presented at PHI’s 9th International Conference: Strategies for Living Well (June 2005) A. You must start with a good primary care physician. 1. Keys to finding a good doctor: a. Look for a physician you trust and can communicate with. b. Identify the best hospitals …

Exercise – The Basics

Brian Tiburzi

Muscle stretching and joint range-of-motion exercises are important whenever there is muscle weakness. Preventing tightness, where muscles are weak, is important to maximize function and is particularly important in the chest wall and abdominal musculature if there is a limitation of breathing capacity. Preventing tightness in the hip and knee is important to maximize walking ability when there is significant weakness …

Basic Beginning Exercise for Polio Survivors and More

Brian Tiburzi

David Guy, MS, CPT USA (ret). Guy is a retired physical therapist who has worked in multiple settings from the Army to universities. He has worked with polio survivors throughout his career. He now helps out with a polio support group in Arizona. “Exercise admonitions: Take these exercises to your doctor and ask your doctor if it is all right for you …