Paralysis in the Body

Paralysis: Definition, Types, Causes, and Treatment

What is Paralysis: Definition

One of the saddest, most unfortunate things that could happen to a person is to suffer from some form of paralysis. It immediately defines him/her as not normally functioning.

 

What is paralysis? Paralysis is the loss of one’s ability to move one or several muscles. It tends to come along with a loss of feeling or loss of some other function of the body. The root cause of paralysis is not usually with muscles themselves but rather by a dysfunction in one’s nerves or spinal cord. This, after all, is what the brain uses to regulate and manage the muscles. It’s no surprise therefore that a person with paralysis will have some damage to his nerves.

What is Paralysis: Types

Paralysis of the body falls into 2 types. This could be :

  1. Localized, which means only a specific part of the body (i.e., the hands or face) is paralyzed or
  2. Generalized when a larger body part gets affected.

 

The other types of paralysis are known by the following medical names:

 

  • Monoplegia: paralyzed part of the body is only 1 limb
  • Hemiplegia: arm and leg of the body’s left or right side are paralyzed
  • Paraplegia: both legs are affected. Sometimes, this could also include the body’s lower portion of the pelvis.
  • Tetraplegia: this is a case of both arms and legs being paralyzed.

What is Paralysis: Causes

Paralysis commonly happens when :

  • One suffers a stroke
  • An incident, accidental or otherwise leads to head injury
  • The spinal cord is injured (colloquially, this is known as the backbone. It is a cluster of nerves that spread through the spine and aids in controlling the body muscles.
  • One is diagnosed to be suffering from Multiple Sclerosis
  • Sometimes, as a result of several other conditions, one develops cerebral palsy or Guillain-Barre’ syndrome.

What is Paralysis: Coping

Life for those who suffer from Paralysis is not easy. It puts a heavy strain on one’s day-to-day life, although the extent of its impact is determined by what type of paralysis one suffers from.

A paraplegic (someone suffering from paraplegia, paralysis of the lower limb) for instance will generally be able to go through a fairly independent and active life with a wheelchair. He may have to temper his sports interest though for obvious reasons.

Another paralysis victim, however, whose arms and legs are affected (Tetraplegia) will need a whole lot more support. It’s not likely that he or she will be able to go through life without somebody dedicated to caring for her.

It may happen also that secondary conditions will occur with those suffering from paralysis. This would be incontinence, both urinary (Inability to control one’s urine flow) and bowel (when stools may leak uncontrolled) types. Sometimes men’s and women’s sexual functions are also affected.

What is Paralysis: Treatment and Cure

It is sad to note that no cure as yet, (except for rare, certain conditions) has been found for paralysis. Such, the treatment for those with permanent paralysis is geared towards making life easier for them with aims of :

  • Helping a sufferer to live as independently as his condition will allow.
  • Addressing some complications that may arise out of one’s condition as pressure ulcers (These are sores which occur when tissues of the affected area are subjected to too much pressure).
  • Addressing one’s problems related to bladder and bowel movements which are secondary conditions occurring with paralysis.
  • Treating spasms, fits and other complications arising from paralysis.

Mobility Aids & Supports

A person suffering from paralysis may look to what is known as mobility aids like wheelchairs and orthoses which can help a sufferer move better. There are wheelchairs for manual operation, designed for those whose strength in the upper body is good. Then, of course, there’s the electric wheelchair, for those with poor or weak upper bodies. Those who are able to afford the costs, sometimes prefer to have a wheelchair customized to suit the sufferer’s personal needs.

A good alternative to wheelchairs is orthoses. These are metallic or plastic braces designed and built to improve a limb’s function and compensate for the weakness of the muscles.

Paralysis And Depression

When paralysis hits anybody, such an unexpected experience can have a tremendous impact and trauma. It’s no wonder then that a paralyzed person goes into a deep depression and may feel like alienating himself.

A bit of a consolation, especially for families who may have one member suffering from paralysis, is a research finding that says most paralysis sufferers, somehow are eventually able to accept their condition and learn to live with it.

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Questions & Answers
Q:
What is the best way to treat permanent back and neck pain and stiffness?
A:

Here are some tips:

Neck Pain Tips: Sleep with a cervical pillow

Orthopedic or cervical pillows are made with special contours to support the space beneath the neck and head. They are also more concave for the head and provide more support to the neck.

Neck Pain Tips: Sleep on your back

The best position to lie to sleep is on your back. If you sleep on your stomach or on your side, make sure your pillow is not too thick. It should raise your head no more than 4 to 6 inches. This will keep your neck and head from turning to either side.

Neck Pain Tips: Position your computer screen at eye level

While you are working at a computer, sit comfortably in your chair with your computer in front of you. Close your eyes and then open them. When you open your eyes, you should see the middle of the computer screen. If your gaze is not in the middle of the screen, adjust the height of the screen using items like books.

To keep your head from gradually drifting forward, take frequent breaks to stretch. Getting up to walk around at least once every half-hour is one of the best neck pain tips.

Neck Pain Tips: Use a telephone headset

Never hold a phone between your shoulder and your ear. Use a headset or other hands-free system to talk on the phone and avoid abusing your neck and spine.

Neck Pain Tips: Exercise your neck muscles

One of the best neck pain tips is using the chin tuck. You can do this often throughout the day. In addition to helping strengthen the muscles that hold the head in alignment over the shoulders, it also helps strengthen the scalene and sub-occipital muscles.

Read more tips here: Neck Pain Tips: Sleeping, Posture, Exercising, Hydration & Prevention

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Temed Holdings
4 answers
Q:
What is the best treatment for neck pain and shoulder Pain?
A:

One of the best treatment for neck pain and shoulder pain is exercises:

Neck Pain Exercises: Neck Extension

  1. To begin this neck pain exercise, sit up straight in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Looking straight ahead, tuck your chin slightly (starting position)
  3. Place the palm of your hand on the back of your neck, at the base of your head
  4. Apply slight forward pressure with your hand, while resisting the forward motion of your neck and head
  5. Hold for a count of 5 and return to the starting position and relax
  6. Repeat the neck pain exercises 5-10 times

Neck pain exercises: Side bend

  1. Sit up straight in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Looking straight ahead, tuck your chin slightly (starting position)
  3. Place your left hand, palm down, on the left side of your head (around your ear)
  4. Slightly push your head to the right side with your hand, while resisting the sideways motion of your neck and head
  5. Hold for a count of 5 and return to the starting position and relax.
  6. Repeat 5-10 times
  7. Repeat the neck pain exercises with the other side.

Neck pain exercises: Neck flexion

  1. Sit up straight in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Looking straight ahead, tuck your chin slightly (starting position)
  3. Place the tips of your fingers on your forehead
  4. Slightly push your head backward with your fingers, while resisting the backward motion of your neck and head
  5. Hold for a count of 5 and return to the starting position and relax.
  6. Repeat the neck pain exercises 5-10 times

More exercises here: Neck Pain Exercises

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Temed Holdings
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Q:
How do I reduce the shoulder and neck pain?
A:

Here are some tips:

Neck Pain Tips: Sleep with a cervical pillow

Orthopedic or cervical pillows are made with special contours to support the space beneath the neck and head. They are also more concave for the head and provide more support to the neck.

Neck Pain Tips: Sleep on your back

The best position to lie to sleep is on your back. If you sleep on your stomach or on your side, make sure your pillow is not too thick. It should raise your head no more than 4 to 6 inches. This will keep your neck and head from turning to either side.

Neck Pain Tips: Position your computer screen at eye level

While you are working at a computer, sit comfortably in your chair with your computer in front of you. Close your eyes and then open them. When you open your eyes, you should see the middle of the computer screen. If your gaze is not in the middle of the screen, adjust the height of the screen using items like books.

To keep your head from gradually drifting forward, take frequent breaks to stretch. Getting up to walk around at least once every half-hour is one of the best neck pain tips.

Neck Pain Tips: Carry weight evenly

Many people make the mistake of carrying a heavy briefcase or their purse on their shoulder or on one side of their body. Doing this causes strain in the muscles and leads to pain.

Remove non-essentials from your briefcase or purse. Consider using a backpack to evenly distribute the weight across your shoulders. If you choose to carry a purse or backpack, keep your shoulders level while carrying it.

Neck Pain Tips: Maintain a proper posture

The most common posture contributing to neck pain is the “head-and-shoulders-forward” posture. In this position, the neck slopes forward, putting the head in front of the shoulders.

In this position, the head pulls the upper back forward also in a slumped position. This places a strain on the entire spinal column.

More tips here: Neck Pain Tips: Sleeping, Posture, Exercising, Hydration & Prevention

Read more
Temed Holdings
4 answers