Polio Place

A service of Post-Polio Health International


Navigating the Seating and Mobility World with Post-Polio

Sara Kraft, PT, DPT, NCS, ATP, Assistant Professor, Medical University of South Carolina, Division of Physical Therapy, College of Health Professions, kraftsv@musc.edu

Navigating the seating and mobility world can be daunting for many with post-polio syndrome. Issues with scoliosis, back pain and even pressure problems can be quite serious for the person living with post-polio. If using a wheelchair, the solutions can be manageable and more easily rectified by customizing seat cushions or wheelchair backrests.

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Don’t Ignore Pressure Sores

Mary Ann Buckingham had polio when she was 12 and walked using braces and crutches. Now 73, she started using a wheelchair about 20 years ago when her arms became too weak to use crutches.

As a polio support group leader for 10 years, she was well aware of the danger of pressure sores and took preventive measures to avoid them such as rotating her weight every 15 minutes and never scooting out of the chair. And, until recently, she was successful.

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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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