Diagnosing Post-Polio Syndrome
In order to make a diagnosis of post-polio syndrome, the doctor will ask the patient a number of questions, perform a physical exam, and recommend certain tests looking for signs and symptoms of post-polio syndrome. Some of these tests may include:
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Computed tomography (CT)
- Neuroimaging tests
- Electromyography (EMG).
These tests can help diagnose post-polio syndrome (or even another medical condition), but they do not identify survivors at greatest risk for new progression of muscle weakness.
Before making a diagnosis, the doctor will also consider other medical conditions that can share similar symptoms with post-polio syndrome. Some of these conditions include:
Currently, there is no cure for post-polio syndrome. Therefore, treatment is focused on relieving the symptoms. Some treatment options for this condition include lifestyle changes and support. Research scientists continue to actively look for other post-polio treatment options.
Post-Polio Syndrome and Exercise
Post-polio syndrome symptoms of pain, weakness, and fatigue can result from the overuse and misuse of muscles and joints. These same symptoms can also result from disuse of muscles and joints. This fact has caused a misunderstanding about whether to encourage or discourage exercise for polio survivors or individuals who already have post-polio syndrome.
(Click Post-Polio Syndrome and Exercise for more information.)