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Health Issue: Post-Polio Syndrome

Symptoms and Types

Polio survivors may experience different symptoms of PPS. While Post-Polio Syndrome is rarely life-threatening, it can interfere with an individual’s ability to function.

The most common symptoms include slowly progressive muscle weakness in the areas that were previously affected by the polio infection.

Other common symptoms include:

  • Both generalized and muscular fatigue
  • Muscle atrophy or a gradual decrease in the size of muscles
  • Pain from joint degeneration
  • Trouble walking
  • Sensitivity to cold
  • Increasing skeletal deformities such as curvature of the spine
  • Respiratory muscle weakness which affects breathing while awake and asleep
  • Weakness in swallowing muscles can lead more aspiration of food and liquids into the lungs which can lead to pneumonia

Different people experience different symptoms at many levels from minor symptoms to visible muscle weakness and atrophy. The severity the PPS greatly depends on the degree of polio the person initially had and recovery from the initial disease. People who had more minimal symptoms from the original polio are more likely to experience milder PPS symptoms and a person who was more affected by the polio virus many have more severe PPS symptoms.