When a muscle in the body loses function, it is referred to as paralysis. It can be partial or complete. It can also either be temporary or permanent. But paralysis symptoms are not a painful condition, but it can affect any part of the body and any time in one’s life.
Paralysis usually occurs when something goes wrong transmission of the messages between the brain and muscle. It can happen in only one area or be widespread.
There are four types of paralysis. They refer to the limbs and location of the body that are affected by paralysis. They are:
Monoplegia (Which Affects A Single Arm Or Leg):
It is the form of paralysis that affects only one limb. It is usually due to cerebral palsy. No cure for this disease, but it can be best treated with the help of physical therapy. Recovery depends on the individuals also.
Hemiplegia (Which Affects And Arm And Leg On The Same Side Of The Body):
Hemiplegia is the form of paralysis that is usually caused by brain damage of spinal cord injury. It affects only one side of the body. It causes weakness, problems with muscle control and also muscle stiffness. Physiotherapy is the best-recommended necessary treatment for it. Hemiplegia is, unfortunately, a permanent condition thus cannot be cured, but treatment will help keep it under control.
Paraplegia (Which Affects Both The Legs):
Paraplegia is usually caused due to spinal cord injury or a congenital condition that affects the neural elements of the spinal canal. It is an impairment in the motor or sensory functions, but it limits to the lower extremities of one’s body. This condition is also permanent since damaged nerves cannot regenerate. It treats with different medications, physical therapy or surgeries like spam chord alignment surgery. Surgery to remove swelling, lesions or embedded objects can also be helpful.
Quadriplegia (Which Affects Both The Arms And Legs):
Quadriplegia is also known as tetraplegia is usually caused by illness or injury to the cervical area of the spinal cord that can result in losing function of all four limbs and torso. Usually, due to the loss of sensory and motor nerves; thus, both sensations and control are lost. There is no cure for quadriplegia, but some people might regain limited function over time. It can be treated by the brain and spinal cord surgeries or by prescribed drugs like blood thinners or blood pressure medications also.
Paralysis can be diagnosed if the following signs are visible:
- facial paralysis on one side
- loss of blinking control on the affected side.
- Decreased tearing.
- It was drooping of the mouth to the affected side.
- Altered sense of taste.
- Slurred speech.
- Pain in or behind the ear.
Causes of paralysis symptoms:
The reasons that may cause paralysis symptoms are:
- Cerebral palsy.
- Guillain-Barre syndrome.
- Peripheral neuropathy.
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease)
- Spinal cord injury
- Head injury
- Multiple sclerosis
- Acute flaccid myelitis
- Arteriovenous malformations
- Friedreich’s ataxia
- Lyme disease
Paralysis can lead to various problems in one’s body, such as:
- Problems with blood flow, breathing, and heart rate
- Changes in the normal function of organs, glands, and other tissues
- Changes to muscles, joints, and bones
- Skin injuries and pressure sores
- Blood clots in the legs
- Loss of urine and bowel control
- Sexual problems
- Problems speaking or swallowing
- Behaviour and mood changes
Diagnosis Of Paralysis:
Diagnosis of paralysis is usually very obvious since it is a loss of muscle function; it’s easy to identify. The importance of the diagnosis to figure out the cause of the paralysis, treatment and care and handling it accordingly.
There are multiple tests to diagnose the following like:
- X Rays: They use a small amount of radiation to produce images of dense structure in the body that can help diagnose the cause of the paralysis.
- CT Scans: They help combine X-Ray images into cross-sectional views inside the body
- MRI: MRIs use magnets and radio waves to create clear images of the body
- Myelography: A dye injection into the spinal canal to make the nerves visible on different tests
- Electromyography: They measure the electrical activity in the muscles and nerves
- Spinal tap: A long needle injection into the spine to collect spinal fluid.
These together assist us in diagnosing the cause for the paralysis.
Treatment of paralysis symptoms:
paralysis symptoms have no said cure yet, but in lucky cases, muscle control and feeling just returned upon treatment. Sometimes it may also remain permanently. But, treatment is essential to prevent worsening of the paralysis.
Some common and effective treatments for paralysis symptoms would include:
- Physical therapy: methods like heat, massage and exercises uses to stimulate the nerves and also muscles.
- Occupational therapy: It focuses on the different ways one performs daily activities and bases the treatment off of that
- Mobility aids: Usually manual or electric wheelchairs, as well as scooters, provide to aid their predicament.
- Supportive devices: Braces, canes and also walkers provide to help the paralysed.
- Adaptive equipment: Equipment such as special utensils and controls for vehicles like cars provide.