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

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News about people who have made significant contributions to the disability community.

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Brace Yourself!

Brian Tiburzi

Along with wheelchairs, nothing conjures up as much anxiety as the idea of having to use new—or long-ago discarded—splints, braces, canes or crutches. Using supportive devices may seem like sending a beacon to the world that we are disabled. After years of functioning without obvious aids, it seems like stepping backwards. I know how difficult these transitions are. I had …


Brian Tiburzi

Pain can be due to any number of factors ranging from very benign to quite serious. Polio survivors who are experiencing pain should undergo a comprehensive medical evaluation to diagnose its cause. Pain is most often due to overuse of muscles, tendons, ligaments and/or joints, and primary interventions are directed at alleviating or eliminating the overuse factors. Pain syndromes associated …

Joint Protection

Brian Tiburzi

Joint protection really means joint preservation. If a joint is surrounded by weak muscles or an imbalance exists between weak and strong muscles, the strain can cause ligaments around the joint to stretch, giving less protection to the joint. Stabilizing a wobbly joint takes more work and, therefore, more energy. Eventually, joints may be pulled out of normal alignment by …

Joint Deformities

Brian Tiburzi

Modern biomechanical and gait analyses identify excessive demands being placed on the joints and muscles. Overly strained muscles, tendons, and ligaments wear out. The proper therapeutic approach is to correct any deformities and to reduce excessive strain with appropriate orthoses (bracing), assistive devices (canes, crutches, etc.), changes in lifestyle, or selective reconstructive surgery. Joint deformities are most common in the …