Presentation and Impact of Pain in Persons with Post-Polio Syndrome: A Cross-sectional Survey Study

Megha Sandeep Sheth, Bhaskar Ghoghari, Neeta Jayprakash Vyas


Purpose: It is a common and well‐recognised phenomenon that functional deterioration occurs many years after people are affected by poliomyelitis infection. This study aims to determine the presentation of pain in subjects with post-polio syndrome (PPS) and also the correlation between severity of pain and interference in activities of daily living (ADL).

Method: A cross-sectional survey was conducted among 72 persons with PPS in Gujarat state in India. Each one was given a self-administered questionnaire which included an 11-point Numeric pain rating scale (NRS) for intensity of pain, questions about site, duration and diurnal variation of pain, and an 11-point Numeric pain rating scale for pain interference.

Results: The study showed that 17 persons (24%) had only joint pain, 28 (39%) had only muscular pain and 27 (37%) had both joint as well as muscular pain. The highest number of subjects or 34 persons (47%) had knee pain, followed by 24 (33%) with shoulder pain, 21% with hip and 19% with low back pain. Muscle pain was maximum in arm musculature, as reported by 33 persons (45%), followed by pain in leg and foot muscles among 25 (36%) and 17 (23%) persons, respectively. Maximum number of subjects or 31% had pain while working which was relieved by rest, while 28 % had pain which continued all day. 43% experienced more pain in winter while 57% had no seasonal variation in pain. 30 persons (42%) had severe pain, 26 had moderate pain and only 16 had mild pain.  Mean pain intensity was 5.88 ±1.52. Interference in ADL on NRS was 4.72 ±2.70. Interference in ADL and pain intensity were found to be positively correlated with Pearson’s co-efficient r=0.6295(p<0.0001).

Conclusion: The majority of those who had recovered from polio experienced increased or new symptoms and problems in ADL, muscle pain, joint pain, and difficulties in walking.

doi 105463/DCID.v24i4.244


Muscle pain; joint pain; numeric rating scale; interference; activities of daily living

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