Post-Polio Syndrome Specialty Clinic

Conemaugh East Hills
1450 Scalp Avenue
Johnstown, PA 15904
Phone: (814) 269-5061


Post-Polio Syndrome (PPS) is a neurological condition that results in weakness, fatigue and/or pain in joints that were affected by polio. An estimated 20 percent of all polio survivors will develop additional disabilities due to PPS.

Conemaugh Health System offers an effective, integrative approach to diagnosing and treating Post-Polio Syndrome, combining traditional medicine, complementary healing methods, patient education, and research to help individuals lessen or slow the progression of symptoms.

Click here to visit the Post-Polio Health International website


Risk Factors

  • Confirmed history of acute paralytic polio and recovery from polio, followed by at least 15 years of stability before post-polio symptoms first appear
  • Poor nutrition
  • Excessive weight gain
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol and/or substance abuse

Symptoms

  • Fatigue or frequent feelings of exhaustion
  • Weakness or loss of muscle strength
  • Gradual or new pain in muscles and joints
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sleeping problems
  • Headaches
  • Swallowing difficulty
  • Decreased ability to tolerate cold temperatures

Diagnosis

Conemaugh's team compiles and reviews a detailed clinical history on each program participant, and performs a comprehensive physical exam. Additional diagnostic tests, including electromyogram (EMG) and/or nerve conduction studies, MRIs, sleep studies and/or comprehensive pulmonary function tests, may be performed to exclude other medical problems that could cause PPS-like symptoms. Referrals to other specialists such as neuropsychologists, respiratory therapists, or nutritionists may also be recommended.


Treatment

  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Nutrition counseling
  • Pain control and/or the use of braces and other orthotic equipment
  • Stress management
  • Aromatherapy
  • Chronic disease self-management.