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 …

Why Should You Consider Seeing a PT? Choosing a PT.

Brian Tiburzi

One excellent reason for seeing a PT in the absence of declining physical function is to undergo a well-rounded baseline evaluation against which future problems might be measured. Individuals who have not experienced recent functional decline may seek the services of a PT so that they may be educated in ways to minimize the effects of their polio problems on …


Brian Tiburzi

Jane Dummer, Maryland I am qualified to speak about fatigue because I fade right after lunch. When I agreed to speak, I realized very quickly I was going to discuss something which is global, yet something I really cannot define for you. So what am I going to say? Fatigue is a normal part of living. Perhaps I can say …

PPS Pain and Fatigue

Brian Tiburzi

Linda Cannon Rowan When I complain to my doctor about pain or fatigue, he usually tells me that I am not getting enough rest. I GET SO TIRED OF HEARING THAT I NEED TO REST! BUT I KNOW THAT I MUST! A day without pain is rare. I was told when I was first diagnosed not to do anything to …

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 …

Lifestyle Changes

Brian Tiburzi

Making certain lifestyle changes is reported by polio survivors as the most effective treatment for the late effects of polio (Yarnell, 1998). Almost everyone who adopts such changes achieves some relief of symptoms (Westbrook & McIlwain, 1996). The change most recommended is the adoption of energy conservation techniques, which may involve the elimination, reduction, or modification of various physical activities. …

Lighten Up – Rest, Pacing, and Timing

Brian Tiburzi

You probably fill your car’s gas tank when it is one-half or one-fourth empty rather than waiting until it runs out of gas. Rest is the body’s equivalent of refueling. If you wait until your body is running on empty, it may be difficult to get going afterward and you may be out of commission for a few days. Many …

Fear of Using a Cane

Brian Tiburzi

From the series, Polio Survivors Ask, by Nancy Baldwin Carter, B.A, M.Ed.Psych, from Omaha, Nebraska, is a polio survivor, a writer, and is founder and former director of Nebraska Polio Survivors Association. Q: A friend who had polio told me that since he uses a cane, people give him more room so he has less fear of being bumped by others. He wishes …

Aging Well with Post-Polio Syndrome: Don’t Take Fatigue Lying Down

Brian Tiburzi

Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) on Aging with a Physical Disability (2011) Fatigue is a major problem for many people with post-polio syndrome (PPS), one that is frustrating and hard to measure. It’s a symptom that can affect your ability to work, your mobility and your quality of life. People with PPS report fatigue as their most persistent and …

An Overview of Energy Conservation

Brian Tiburzi

Any person who has a disability uses more energy than a nondisabled person to perform basic activities of daily living (ADL), because tasks are often performed using movement patterns that are not meant to be used. The process of using relatively nondisabled body parts to compensate for muscles that are weak or paralyzed saps energy. If a polio survivor attempts …