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


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15 pp

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.

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