What is paralysis?
Paralysis refers to loss of voluntary muscle movements in the body as a result of permanent or temporary damage to the nervous system. It can be partial or complete, localised or generalised, temporary or permanent. Paralysis can affect any part of the body, any any age.
There are basically two parts of nervous system-
- Central nervous system(CNS), that include nerves of brain and spinal cord.
- Peripheral nervous system(PNS), that includes nerves outside the central nervous system.
PNS consists of two types of neurons, that are categorised on the basis of their functions-
- Motor neurons, that regulate the motor actions of the body i.e movements
- Sensory neurons, that carry the senses of pressure, pain, temperature, touch, smell, etc to the CNS.
Any damage to these nerves in the brain or spinal cord can lead to paralysis.
Paralysis can lead to several problems in the body, like trouble in blood flow, breathing difficulties, improper functioning of the organs, difficulty in speaking and swallowing, problems in sexual responses, losing control over urinary sphincter, etc, depending upon the part which is affected.
Some people may be paralysed since birth, while others may acquire this condition due to an accident or any other medical condition. The common causes of paralysis include-
- Injury in spinal cord
- Cerebral palsy
- Multiple sclerosis
Normally, the functions of the nerves is to transfer the signals back and forth between the brain and different parts of the body. Signals from brain are transferred to other parts of the body via peripheral nerves. The peripheral nerves are meant to carry out several functions in the body like breathing, digestion, walking, chewing, sensory functions like carrying impulses of pain, temperature, pressure etc. Damage to any one of these nerves can significantly affect overall health of the body, severely hampering the quality of life.
Other possible causes of paralysis may include-
- Tumours in brain or spinal cord
- Infections such as meningitis, encephalitis and polio
- Spina bifida
- Motor neurone disease, like ALS and primary lateral sclerosis
- Autoimmune diseases, like lupus, Guillain Barr syndrome
- Inherited disorders like spinal muscular dystrophy
Sign and symptoms
The sign and symptoms of paralysis depend upon the type and cause of the condition. The primary symptom of paralysis is loss of muscle function in one or more parts of the body.
Symptoms that may accompany paralysis are-
- Muscle weakness
- Numbness and pain in the affected muscles
- Muscle atrophy
- Involuntary spasms or twitches
There can be number of complications of paralysis, depending upon the type and parts of body involved. The common ones include-
- Autonomic dysreflexia- It is caused due to spinal cord injury at the middle of the chest of higher. Common symptoms are-
- Severe headache
- Generalised anxiety
- Intense sweating above level of injury
- Red blotches on the skin
- High blood pressure
- Dilated pupils
- Tightness in chest
If it is not addressed promptly, autonomic dysreflexia can cause seizures and bleeding inside the brain, which can prove fatal.
- Depression- Sudden paralysis and disability can be very traumatic, which often leads to grief and eventually depression.
- Sexual problems– Everyone need not have sexual problems, but paralysis can reduce man’s ability to maintain erection and capability of proper ejaculation.
Doctor can make the diagnosis of paralysis easily by looking into the physical symptoms of the patient. The muscle weakness and numbness in the muscles of the affected body parts is an evident sign of paralysis.
To identify the cause of paralysis, doctor may ask to have certain tests like- X-rays, CT scans, MRI scans, or other imaging tests.
There are wide range of homeopathic medicines for testing paralysis. The earlier the treatment starts, the better are the possibilities of recovery. The extent to which a person will recover varies from patient to patient and the extent and severity of the conditions. Homeopathic medicines are best and safe for the long term treatment, that is required in the cases of paralysis.
Dr Ashok Choudhary is an expert in treating the cases the of paralysis. The medicines are very effective in reducing the disability of the person, and increasing the muscle strength, so that he may carry out his daily chores, independently.