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Anterior poliomyelitis is a disorder that affects the nerve cells particularly the motor neurons. Motor neurons are responsible for sending out messages from the brain and spinal cord to the muscles. The disease is caused by the virus called poliovirus and is considered very contagious. The virus attacks the motor neurons which will kill the nerve cells and will eventually cause paralysis on the muscles that are located right below the affected area of the spinal cord. Usually, the most common region affected in the spine is the cervical or lumbar region.

The symptoms of Anterior Poliomyelitis are difficult to recognize at the beginning of the disease because it resembles symptoms from gastroenteritis or nasopharyngitis. The symptoms include:

  • Fever accompanied by chills and convulsions
  • Pain is present in the head, back, and limbs
  • Muscle twitching is also present
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Paralysis sets in after 24 to 48 hours.

The paralysis experienced will have its fullest extent for the first week; it will stay the same for the next eight to ten weeks. Then the situation would improve as the paralyzed muscle (usually the legs is affected) would show movements, but then it ceases and will result in permanent paralysis.


The treatment for anterior poliomyelitis includes will depend on its type, because if the type is benign as most cases are, plenty of rest and the use of pain analgesic should be enough to cure the disorder. However, for severe cases, the treatment is focused on the management and relief of symptoms. Rehabilitation is also included to prevent skeletal deformities and muscle atrophy.
Vaccination in almost all countries is now mandatory.

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If you think you are suffering from Anterior Poliomyelitis you should seek medical assistance. You may also be entitled to Social Security Disability Benefits. The SSA considered Anterior Poliomyelitis as a medical condition that would make you eligible for SSDI and SSI. Social Security Administration (SSA) maintains a “Listing of Medical Impairments” (known as the blue book) that automatically qualify you for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).