HBOT and Post-Polio Syndrome: An Alternative Treatment Option
One theory behind post-polio syndrome centers on the nerves and the belief that post-polio syndrome is the result of degenerating nerve sprouts. HBOT enhances the proliferation of glial cells line-derived neurotrophic nerve growth factor and boosts the information of new neural pathways. HBOT treatments boost white blood cells and enhance the immune system and encourage the production of superoxide dismutase, an antioxidant that helps to reduce inflammation. As a result, after 20-40 hyperbaric oxygen treatments, many patients find a significant improvement in their post-polio symptoms.
What is Post-Polio Syndrome?
Post-polio syndrome refers to a collection of symptoms that develop after initial infection with the poliovirus. These symptoms can take up to 30 or 40 years to develop. Symptoms of post-polio syndrome typically progress slowly and can include:
- Progressive muscle and joint weakness and pain
- Muscle atrophy
- Fatigue and exhaustion with little or no activity
- Problems with breathing or swallowing
- Intolerance of cold temperatures
- Sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea
In cases where muscle weakness becomes severe, complications such as falls and broken bones, malnutrition, dehydration, pneumonia, chronic respiratory failure, and osteoporosis are common complications.
There is no cure for post-polio syndrome and treatments focus on minimizing the symptoms and increasing the quality of life. Treatments focus on minimizing required energy, such as using assistive devices like canes, walkers, and wheelchairs. In addition, physical therapy and speech therapy can help strengthen muscles and deal with swallowing and voice issues. Sleep apnea treatments will help with sleep and medications such as over-the-counter pain relievers can help ease muscle and joint pain.
For more information on HBOT and Post-Polio Syndrome, visit HERE to fill out our online form. You can also call the office and set up an initial consultation with Dr. Spiegel.