Paralysis may be defined as the loss of ability to perform muscular functions. Paralysis is mostly caused by damage to the body’s nervous system (brain and the spinal cord). These neurological disorders are caused by due to miscommunication between the brain and nerves .Brain loses its ability to send instructions to few or various muscles which in Turn leads to partial or complete Paralysis, thereby affecting one or both sides of your body. In certain cases paralysis also tends to affect a certain area of the body. For e.g. Facial paralysis where only the muscles of the face stop responding to the brain.
What are the types of paralysis?
Doctors can classify paralysis in many different ways:
On the basis of Location
Localized paralysis : In this case only one part of the body is affected , such as your face or hand.
In this case the paralysis affects multiple body parts one at a time or simultaneously. The types include:
- Monoplegia, affecting only one arm or leg
- Hemiplegia, affecting one arm and one leg on the same side of the body
- Paraplegia, affecting both the legs
- Quadriplegia, or tetraplegia, affecting both the arms and legs
A person suffering from partial paralysis tends to have some control over the muscles in the affected body parts. On the other hand, in case of complete paralysis, one has absolutely no control over the muscles in the affected areas.
Symptoms: the symptoms of paralysis might include
- Difficulty in walking
- Trouble with fine hand movements
- Balance issues
- Muscle spasm
- Stiff joints
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Speech issues
- Emotional lability
- Loss of bladder/bowel control
Paralysis may be temporary. For example, Bells palsy is a condition that can cause temporary paralysis of your face. Strokes can also temporarily paralyze one side of your body. With time and treatment, a person may regain some or all of the sensations in the muscles. In some cases, paralysis may be permanent.
Paralysis may be caused as an effect of multiple conditions, that affect the muscles directly or indirectly . The most common causes for paralysis include the occurrence of a stroke, head injury, spinal cord injury and multiple sclerosis, certain neuropathies.
The causes of paralysis range from neurological to brain diseases to accidents and strokes and this in turn is largely responsible for determining the intensity and severity of paralysis.
Diagnose of paralysis is often easy to do as it clearly indicates the loss of muscle control in a body area. What is more important to diagnose is the cause of the paralysis. This can be relatively straightforward if the paralysis occurs after an event such as a stroke or spinal cord injury. In other cases It may become matter of research as to what caused the paralysis in addition to studying the degree of the paralysis, and/or the state of the nerves involved. The following tests such as x- ray, CT scans, MRI, nerve tests etc may be carried out.
Depending on the severity of paralysis and whether it is Complete or partial the duration and cure of the paralysis can be determined. Although it is difficult to state whether the disease is completely curable, there have been cases where the disease has either been controlled or completely reversed.
Physical therapy, mobility aids, voice aids, braces, canes, wheelchairs etc are a few steps that May be adopted to make the patient deal with the disease better.