Paralysis is a loss of voluntary muscle function in part of your body after something goes wrong with their connection on the brain. It can be localized or generalized, partial or complete, temporary or permanent. Paralysis can affect any part of your body at any time in your life. If experience it, you probably won’t feel pain in the affected areas.
Paralysis can cause problems with blood flow, breathing, how well your organs work, speaking or swallowing, sexual responses, or controlling the urge to go the bathroom, depending on where you are paralyzed and how bad it is.
• Complete paralysis
When you can’t move or control your paralyzed muscles at all. You may not be able to feel anything in those muscles.
• Partial or incomplete paralysis
When you still have some feeling in and possibly control over, your paralyzed muscles. This is sometimes called Paresis.
• Localized paralysis
It affects just one specific area, like your face, head, feet, or vocal cords.
• Generalized paralysis
It is more widespread in your body and is grouped by how much of your body is affected. This type usually depends on where your brain or spinal cord is injured.
It is a kind of generalized paralysis that affects just one limb.
It affects the same area on both sides, like both arms, both legs, or both sides of your face.
It affects just one side of your body and is usually caused by a stroke, which damages one side of your brain.
It is when all four limbs are paralyzed, sometimes along with certain organs.
It is paralysis from the waist down.
It is the rarest and most severe form of paralysis, where a person loses control of all their muscles except the ones that control their eye movements.
• Spastic paralysis
Paralysis is called stiff or spastic when your muscles are tight and jerky. Most people with cerebral palsy have spastic paralysis.
• Flaccid paralysis
It is called floppy or flaccid when your muscles sag and eventually shrink.
Symptoms vary, depending on the type and cause of the issue. The most common paralysis symptom is the loss of muscle function in one or more parts of the body.
Another symptom that may accompany paralysis include –
• numbness or pain in the affected muscles
• muscle weakness
• visible signs of muscle loss (muscle trophy)
• involuntary spasms or twitches
Muscle movement is controlled by trigger signals relayed from the brain. When any part of the relay system – such as the brain, spinal cord, nerves, or junction between the nerve and the muscle – is damaged, the signals to move do not make it through to the muscles, and paralysis results. There are many ways the relay system can be damaged.
A person can be born with paralysis due to a birth defect such as spina bifida, which occurs when the brain, spinal cord, and the covering that protects them do not form the right way. In most cases, people get paralysis as the result of an accident or a medical condition that affects the way muscles and nerves function.
The most common causes of paralysis include –
• Spinal cord injury
• Head injury
• Multiple sclerosis
Some other causes include –
• Cerebral palsy
• Guillain- Barre syndrome
• Peripheral neuropathy
• Toxins /poisons
• ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease)
• Post-polio syndrome
Some of the problems that can occur along with paralysis include –
• Problems with blood flow, breathing, and heart rate
• Changes in the normal function of organs, glands, and other issues
• 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 in speaking or swallowing
• Behaviour and mood changes
Diagnosing paralysis is often easy to do because the main symptom – loss of muscle control in a body area – is obvious.
The doctor might want to learn more about the injury that’s causing the paralysis, the degree of the paralysis, and the state of the nerves involved. For that purpose following tests need to be done –
• CT scan
• Spinal tap
Currently, no cure for paralysis exists. However, depending on the cause and type of issue, some people experience a partial or complete recovery. For example, spontaneous recovery often occurs in cases of Bell’s palsy. It might occur to some extent with treatment after a stroke.
Rehabilitation is often recommended to address problems that can occur as a consequence of the paralysis, to enable the paralyzed person to live as independently as possible.
Some of the recommended rehabilitation treatments include-
• Physical therapy includes treatments such as heat, massage, and exercises to stimulate nerves and muscles.
• Occupational therapy concentrates on ways to perform activities of daily living.
• Mobility aids include manual and electric wheelchairs and scooters.
• Supportive devices include braces. canes and walkers.
• Assistive technology such as lighting systems, telephones, and voice-activated computers.
• Adaptive equipment such as special eating utensils and controls for driving a car.
Ayurvedic Perspective –
The disease paralysis has been discussed in Ayurveda under Vata vyadhi disorder. The terms Paksaghata, Paksha vadha and Ekanga Vata have been used to describe Paralysis in Ayurveda.
Line of treatment
• Bio-cleansing therapies are administered which are termed as the Samshodhana Chikitsa.
▪︎Snehana or Oil massage
The affected areas are massaged with controlled motion with the combination or a few of the following oils –
* Maha narayan Taila
* Sahacharadi Taila
* Dhanvantara Taila
* KshirabaIa Taila
* Mahamsha Taila
* Bala Taila
▪︎Swedena or Medicated formentation
* Shasitika shali Sweda
▪︎Vasti or Medicated enema
• Vrahat Vata Chintamani Ras
• Ekangveer Ras
• Maha vata vidhvansan Ras
• Swarna Makshika
• Shilajit Rasaysn Vati
• Rasraj Ras
• Tryodashang Gugglu
• Chandraprabha Vati
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