Post Polio Syndrome (PPS) is a condition experienced by individuals who have previously acquired polio. After recovery and periods of stability, the person experiences new signs and symptoms. The affected area can be in the same limb as was previously affected by the initial illness but may also be in limbs that were not previously affected. Symptoms may include decrease in muscle mass, weakness, pain and fatigue. The occurrence of these symptoms can occur years after the initial bout of polio. Though rarely life threatening, people afflicted with PPS can have difficulty in pursuing normal daily activities as this affects the performance and the functions of the limbs. In cases where this affects the respiratory system, afflicted persons may encounter difficulty in breathing.
In diagnosing post polio syndrome, a comprehensive medical history is needed as well as a physical examination. As there is no specific test that can determine post polio syndrome, all the medical history and examination will be considered vital to determine whether or not a person suffers from PPS. For persons with previous affliction of polio, it is important that medical help is sought at the earliest onset for proper management and to avoid further complications. Physicians trained in neuromuscular disorders are the best experts to seek when in doubt of the presence of this condition.
Management of post polio syndrome is usually through physical therapy and exercises. This therapies and exercises target to improve muscle strength and encourage normal functions of the limbs. Pharmaceutical treatments include the use of steroids and immunoglobulin which aim to reduce pain, making daily life routines manageable for the afflicted persons. Avoiding heavy exertion and other strenuous activities would also greatly help in avoiding pain and the extra strain on the affected muscles. For those whose respiratory systems are affected, breathing exercises have been proven beneficial. Aside from exercises and lifestyle changes, another alternative espoused to help manage post polio syndrome is the use medical marijuana.
As medical marijuana has pain relieving properties, this can be effective in managing the symptoms of post polio syndrome. This property focuses in addressing pain and fatigue experienced by afflicted persons to help them continue with daily functions and live their lives as normally as they could. Also, patients can enjoy these benefits without the adverse side effects associated with other pharmaceutical treatments. Post polio syndrome may be an adverse condition but medical marijuana can provide the hope for afflicted persons that will help them perform as much of a semblance of normal functions.
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