Paralysis is known as a medical condition in which a person has a muscle function loss in their body, which may also include loss of feeling in the part that has been affected. When it affects both sides of the body, it is referred to as diplegia. When it affects only one side of a body, it is referred to as hemiplegia.
For various reasons, paralysis can occur on an individual. However, it should be mentioned that many of the common reasons are due to multiple sclerosis, stroke, or injury to the head and/spinal cord in serious spinal injury cases. Sadly, there is no current cure for paralysis at the moment. If a loved one or yourself has paralysis, it’s an incredibly difficult issue to deal with and there are plenty of methods and aids that can offer improvement to one’s condition.
From patient to patient, paralysis recovery timeframes vary. In addition to this, the recovery of one patient differs from another, meaning that some patients recieving treatment may have results that are more positive than others. A physiotherapist and/or doctor will be able to inform you on the recovery chances and overall condition, which will correlate with how well the rehabilitation process has been followed.
The cause of the paralysis and the type of injury occurred correlate with a patient’s paralysis type. So given the scenario, a doctor’s analysis will be required on the overall condition, which will then be followed by the correct treatment. The most common types of paralysis types are:
– Quadriplegia – This type of paralysis is where every limb of the patient (in addition to the main body) has been compromised due to paralysis. If the individual has suffered an injury that was above thoracic vertebrae, it’s likely that quadriplegia is the paralysis they have. In certain scenarios, quadriplegia can become tetraplegia, which is the condition in which a patient loses movement or sensation in three of their limbs.
– Paraplegia – This is known as the paralysis in which a patient can no longer move their legs. If an individual has had an injury below their thoracic vertebrae, this might be the classification of their paralysis. Many individuals who are confined to a wheelchair likely have paraplegia.
– Monoplegia – Monoplegia is known as the type of paralysis where a patient suffers the loss of mobility in one of their limbs. If an individual has suffered from some damage to localized parts of their peripheral nervous system, they may suffer from monoplegia. If you’re unaware of what the peripheral nervous system is, it’s the area of our nervous system that contains the nerves located outside the spinal cord and the brain. Monoplegia can also occur from damage to areas of the motor cortex, which is the part of your brain that allows one to execute, control, and plan voluntary movement.
– Diplegia – Diplegia is known as the type of paralysis where an individual will lose the ability for movement and any sensation in the parts of the body that are symmetrical (such both the arms or face.) In cases of diplegia, these are the areas that are most common. In addition to this, these areas tend to be the most common whenever a spinal injury occurs.
– Hemiplegia – Hemiplegia is known as the paralysis where an individual has lost any sort of ability for movement or sensation in an entire area from an effected part on one side of the body. Whenever an individual has a stroke, this is the common paralysis that one encounters – depending on the hemisphere of the brain in which the stroke happens.
Recovery: The Brunnstrom Approach
Being developed by Signe Brunnstrom, The Brunnstrom Approach is a seven stage process in which patients can regain motor control. The stages are as follows:
– Stage 1 – Stage one is shock in which the patient tries to recover. Physiotherapy is necessary at this stage to not only regain what has been lost, but prevent complete loss of the limb.
– Stage 2 – Stage 2 is where a rehabilitation program will be set to regain movement to the limbs, all focused on activating and stimulating the limbs.
– Stage 3 – Stage 3 will have the patient feeling as if the muscles in the limb are stiff or tight. Excercises will be performed to regain control and strength.
– Stage 4 – Stage 4 is where spasticity will reduce and continue to improve.
– Stage 5 – Stage 5 is when spasticity reduces more and patients will begin to make slight voluntary movements.
– Stage 6 – Stage 6 is where spasticity will be gone and the patient will be capable of making voluntary movements.
– Stage 7 – Stage 7 is when a patient has full control over their movements.