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August 1954

PAIN ASSOCIATED WITH ACUTE POLIOMYELITISNeurologic and Therapeutic Considerations

AMA Am J Dis Child. 1954;88(2):141-147. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1954.02050100143001

PAIN IS a conspicuous symptom in acute poliomyelitis. Besides headache, pain occurs in the trunk and extremities, usually in two episodes during the course of the disease: initially, before motor damage has developed, and later, in the subacute stage, when progression of the disease has more or less ceased and paralysis is present. We might accordingly speak of preparalytic and postparalytic pain. Even though the pain usually abates during the development of paralysis itself, it may, nevertheless, persist continuously. It may be absent during one phase—commonly, the initial one—but seldom during both.

The pain is partly spontaneous, in the form of aching, and partly provoked, in the form of tenderness. The aching is both continuous and paroxysmal. The continuous form is felt as an intense irritating pain, mostly resembling postexercise ache or neuralgia. The paroxysmal form consists of brief darting pains, for example, in an extremity as far as

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