What is Paralysis & What Happens in Paralysis?

Sep 04, 2019 | 2 months ago | Read Time: 3 minutes | By iKnowledge Team
Paralysis Symptoms

Paralysis is the loss of ability to move muscles in the body. Muscle movements in the body are a result of communication between the sensory nerves and central nervous system i.e. brain and spinal cord. When the communication between the two is disrupted at any point between muscles and brain, it can hamper the muscle movements. Furthermore, this would lead to weakness in the muscles and lose coordination. This type of condition is known as paralysis. Paralysis can happen to anyone at any point in life and to any part in your body.

Types of Paralysis

Paralysis can affect a specific or a larger muscle area of the body. The type of paralysis is determined based on the affected area.

  • Monoplegia: Only one arm or leg is affected
  • Hemiplegia: Only one side (right leg and arm or left leg and arm) is paralysed
  • Diplegia: Both sides of the body are paralysed
  • Paraplegia: Affects only the lower limbs
  • Quadriplegia: Affects all four limbs
  • Facial paralysis: Generally, one side of the face is paralysed

Statistics

In India, the cases of paralysis and stroke are increasing by 50% every year among the younger generation aged between 30 to 50 years. Atrial fibrillation i.e. heart rhythm disorder is the most common cause for paralysis in India. It is the condition of irregular and rapid heart rate which is caused due to obesity and chronic heavy alcohol use. The number of atrial fibrillation patients increased from just 67 lakhs in 2011 to 1.23 crore in 2013.

Causes of Paralysis

Sometimes, paralysis can exist since birth. It can also develop over the course of life due to an accident or a medical problem. The following are the causes of paralysis:

  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Stroke
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Cerebral palsy: A disorder of movement, muscles and posture due to damage to the brain
  • Post-polio syndrome: A condition affecting polio survivors after few years of recovery
  • Traumatic brain injury: An injury to brain due to a violent blow to the head or body
  • Neurofibromatosis: A genetic disorder causing tumour formation on nerve tissues

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Paralysis

A clear symptom is being unable to move a part or your whole body. The signs can show anywhere in the body, slowly or gradually. At times, before paralysis sets in completely, you may experience a tingling or numbing sensation. You may also not be able to control your muscles in the affected body part during a paralytic attack.

How To Diagnose Paralysis?

Paralysis can be easily diagnosed because of the loss of muscle control. To detect the impact on the internal parts and organs, X-rays, CT scans, MRI scans or electromyography may be done. For paralysis due to spinal cord injury, with the help of myelography the affected nerves can be seen clearly in an X-ray.

How To Treat Paralysis?

Depending on the cause of paralysis and the symptoms, a treatment is suggested. Doctors may suggest medication, a surgery, or possible amputation, physical therapy, occupational therapy, or a device to walk or move around. Most of the times, paralysis isn’t curable but with a suitable treatment the symptoms can be controlled.

Be financially prepared

Don’t let paralysis paralyse your savings. You can protect your finances with a health insurance. To cover paralysis under insurance, you will need a critical illness policythat will offer you a lumpsum payment and additional benefit of premium waiver.

Knowing these signs and symptoms of paralysis can help you stay vigilant and take necessary action when needed. Even with all the precautions and safety measures, life is full of unexpected twists and turns. So, make sure you are ready to face the emotional, physical and financial challenges that come along.

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