Polio Place

A service of Post-Polio Health International

assistive devices

Brace Yourself!

Along with wheelchairs, nothing conjures up as much anxiety as the idea of having to use new—or long-ago discarded—splints, braces, canes or crutches. Using supportive devices may seem like sending a beacon to the world that we are disabled. After years of functioning without obvious aids, it seems like stepping backwards.

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The Utility of Post-Polio Bracing

Irwin M. Siegel, MD

Patients with post-polio weakness can often benefit by using an appropriate brace.

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Orthotics is the use of braces and splints (orthoses) to biomechanically assist in supporting and stabilizing parts of the body affected by paralyzed and/or weak muscles (Bunch, 1985).

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Guide for Children in Rural Areas

 "Chapter 7: Polio" 

in  Werner, David. Disabled Village Children: A Guide for Community Health Workers, Rehabilitation Workers, and Families. Hesperian Foundation. 2009.

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Please Be Seated!

Prolonged standing is stressful; some people find it harder to stand in one place than to walk. We need to conserve energy while doing everyday tasks so we have vitality left for the fun stuff. So.....sit down! Sitting while performing activities takes 25% less energy - how easy is that? And the benefits don’t stop there; sitting places less demand on the cardio-vascular system and less stress on the weight-bearing joints. Most important - sitting is safer, especially for those of us with weakness, fatigue, and compromised balance.

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Joint Deformities

Modern biomechanical and gait analyses identify excessive demands being placed on the joints and muscles. Overly strained muscles, tendons, and ligaments wear out. The proper therapeutic approach is to correct any deformities and to reduce excessive strain with appropriate orthoses (bracing), assistive devices (canes, crutches, etc.), changes in lifestyle, or selective reconstructive surgery.

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