This weekend saw 140 disabled competitors living with the late effects of Polio and Post Polio Syndrome (PPS) descend on the Marriott hotel in Leicester for the start of the National Indoor Games by the British Polio Fellowship.
Competitors competed in nine different indoor sports which were all specifically tailored for those with physical disability, they included Kurling; Bowls and Darts.
After a long time without any significant change in their condition, up to 80% of people who contract Polio in earlier life can develop new or increasing muscle weakness and pain, swallowing and breathing problems and chronic fatigue. This is known as post Polio Syndrome (PPS), which is a neurological condition. It is thought that around 120,000 people in the UK are living with the effects of Polio or PPS today.
In 2013 a survey was undertaken that highlighted that despite being as common as Parkinson’s disease, awareness amongst GPs of a fellow neurological condition like PPS is low and has left a forgotten generation of Polio survivors struggling for diagnosis. The survey revealed 69 per cent of GPs rated their knowledge of PPS as low and 42 per cent said they would feel the need to refer a suspected PPS case to a neurologist for diagnosis; an acknowledgment that more awareness of the condition is needed across the primary medical community.