Paralysis - Symptoms, Risk factors and Treatment

Paralysis is a loss of control over a muscle or a group of muscles in a particular part of the body. It occurs when any part of the relay system like the brain, nerves, or spinal cord is damaged, which eventually affects its ability to conduct signals throughout the body. The treatment of paralysis depends upon its severity. It can range from regular physiotherapy to adaptive technology. 


In a single action like just moving your hand, there are so many nerves involved that take the signal from your brain. After a series of impulses, you are able to move your hand on the command of your brain. When it loses the ability to transmit nerve impulses in the right way, it can result in paralysis. There are various types of paralysis depending upon its degrees. 


Parietal paralysis- is also known as paresis. It is a condition in which you lose some control and still have some left in your muscles. 


Complete paralysis- when you are completely unable to move your muscles at all. 


Permanent paralysis- when paralysis occurs and it never reverts to normal, not up to some extent even. 


Temporary paralysis- when after the occurrence of paralysis attack, some of its control returns to normal. 


Flaccid paralysis- the type of paralysis in which the affected muscles get flabby and shrink down.


Spastic paralysis- a type of paralysis in which spasm occurs. The affected muscles harden, become tight, and jerk around in an odd way. 


Paralysis can occur in either a generalized or localized manner. In generalized paralysis, a large area of muscles is affected by it, whereas, in localized paralysis, a part of the body is affected. 


Generalized paralysis is further classified into different types of paralysis according to its severity or the areas affected. 


Monoplegia- a paralysis that affects one limb like one arm or one leg. 

Hemiplegia- a paralysis that affects one side of the body, like the whole leg and arm of one side. 

Diplegia- a paralysis that affects the same area of both sides of the body like both arms or both legs. 

Paraplegia- a paralysis that affects both legs or the parts of the trunk. 

Quadriplegia- a paralysis that affects the entire area like both arms and both legs. It may affect a large area from the neck down. Due to it, the function of the heart, lungs, and other organs may also be affected. 



Symptoms of paralysis 


The symptoms of paralysis are easy to identify. The person having it will be unable to move their body or a certain part like arm or leg. Moreover, they will have little or no sensation in the affected area. Also, they may feel the stiffness of the muscles of the area affected. 


By the time the person may lose all the sensations of the muscles. Before losing that, they may have a tingling sensation or muscle cramps. 


Causes 


The most common causes of paralysis are;



  • Head injury

  • Stroke

  • Spinal cord injury

  • Multiple sclerosis


Some other causes of paralysis are;


  • Cerebral palsy

  • Guillain-Barré syndrome

  • Toxins/poisons

  • ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease)

  • Peripheral neuropathy


Complications 


Paralysis can lead to further complications like 


  • Difficulty eating and swallowing

  • Difficulty speaking 

  • Problems with breathing

  • Problems with blood flow and heart rate

  • Changes in normal functions in the muscles, joints, and bones

  • Blood clots/thrombosis in the legs

  • Skin ulcers

  • Loss of bowel or urine

  • Inability to erect in men

  • Behavioral and mood changes


Conclusion 


Paralysis is a loss of control over a muscle or a group of muscles in a particular part of the body. It occurs when any part of the relay system like the brain, nerves, or spinal cord is damaged, which eventually affects its ability to conduct signals throughout the body. There are various types of paralysis. Broadly they can be classified as localized and generalized. The treatment of paralysis depends upon its severity. It can range from regular physiotherapy to adaptive technology.


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