What is Paralysis?
The nervous system controls our voluntary and involuntary muscle functions. Involuntary functions are those that we cannot control, for example, the beating of the heart. Voluntary functions are the ones we can control, such as movements of our hands and legs.
Damage to the nervous system may result in the loss of voluntary muscle functions. This condition is known as paralysis. The meaning of paralysis is ‘to disable on one side’. The severity of paralysis depends upon the extent of damage to the nervous system. Often, paralysis affects a small area of the body, such as the face, hands or feet; it may also have a widespread effect. People often search for paralyzed meaning in Hindi. In Hindi, we refer to paralysis as “Pakshaaghaat” or “Phaleez”.
Types of Paralysis
Paralysis may be categorised based on severity and duration.
- Based on severity: Two types of paralysis are partial and complete. In partial paralysis, patients will have some control over their muscles. With complete paralysis, there is a total loss of muscle control. Movement becomes impossible in the affected body parts in patients with complete paralysis.
- Based on duration: There is temporary paralysis and permanent paralysis. In temporary paralysis, such as in Bell’s palsy or sleep paralysis, people may regain the functional movement of muscles. In permanent paralysis, as seen in a severe neck injury, people do not recover the lost muscle function
Indications of Paralysis
Paralysis symptoms vary according to the severity and cause. The most common symptom is loss of functional movement of muscles. It may be in one or more parts of the body. Some othercommon paralysis attack symptoms are:
- Pain or numb sensation in the affected muscles
- Muscular spasms
- Muscle stiffness
- Loss of muscle function
Causes of Paralysis
There are various causes of paralysis attacks, as described below:
- Stroke: Stroke is one of the most common reasons for paralysis. Paralysis may be caused by heart strokes or brain strokes. A lack of blood supply in vital parts of the brain damages muscle-controlling tissues.
- Multiple sclerosis: Multiple sclerosis is a progressive and debilitating disease of the central nervous system. It is also one of the primary paralysis causes.
- Spinal cord injury: A spinal cord injury caused by trauma may damage the nerves and result in paralysis.
- Cerebral palsy: Cerebral palsy occurs due to affected or abnormal brain growth. It usually causes temporary paralysis.
- Spina bifida: Spina bifida is a type of neural tube defect that occurs in the fetus. It involves incomplete spinal cord closure and may lead to paralysis.
Infections: An infection resulting from bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites can also lead to paralysis. For example, polio (poliomyelitis) virus, a contagious illness mainly affecting children under 5 years of age in its most severe form causes nerve injury resulting in paralysis.
There are various paralysis attack treatments. Some of them are:
Treatment of Paralysis
- Medication: The doctor may prescribe paralysis medicines to address symptoms. They may either delay the progression of the disease or prevent opportunistic infection in patients with paralysis.
- Surgery: The doctor may also advise surgery in cases of brain injuries as a paralysis treatment strategy. Surgery may help to reduce brain swelling.
- Alternative therapy: Various methods are available for paralysis treatment in Ayurveda. Other alternative treatments include massage, acupressure, and yoga.
Paralysis is a debilitating condition and involves loss of muscle function. Some cases are temporary, while others are permanent. Patients with paralysis experience pain, numbness, and stiffness in the affected muscles. There are innumerable causes of paralysis. Treatment is given according to the cause and severity.