Understanding Paralysis and Its Underlying Causes

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Understanding Paralysis and Its Underlying Causes
Understanding Paralysis and Its Underlying Causes

Paralysis is a condition of paralysis due to disorders of the nerves that play a role in regulating the body's muscle movements. Paralysis makes limbs immobile. This condition is most often experienced by stroke survivors or people who have suffered spinal cord injuries

Paralysis has a big impact on life because it can make disability in everyday life. Paralysis due to paralysis can occur in one area of ​​the body and can also occur as a whole. This condition can also occur suddenly or slowly and spread.

Understanding Paralysis and Its Underlying Causes - Alodokter

Various Symptoms of Paralysis

A common symptom of paralysis is the loss of the ability to move the limbs. In addition, some other symptoms that may arise due to paralysis are:

  • Stiff muscles with twitching
  • Pain and tingling
  • Numbering
  • Weak and limp in the muscles
  • Difficulty speaking and swallowing
  • Difficulty breathing

The symptoms of paralysis above can appear gradually or suddenly. Manifestations of paralysis also vary, for example:

  • Only the face (facial paralysis)
  • Only occurs on one side of the body (hemiplegia)
  • Occurs in both hands and feet (tetraplegia or quadriplegia)
  • Occurs in both legs (paraplegia)

The different forms of paralysis can usually determine the cause and location of the nerve damage that occurs.

Recognizing the Cause of Paralysis

Even though the body's muscles are affected, it doesn't mean that paralysis is caused by a problem with the muscles. Generally, this paralysis occurs due to disorders of the motor nerves or spinal nerves that carry movement messages from the brain.

There are several factors that cause paralysis. Each of these factors can have different symptoms with each other. Here is the explanation:

1. Stroke

Paralysis is one of the symptoms that occurs in stroke. Usually, paralysis occurs on one side of the face and body. This paralysis can be evenly distributed on one side of the body or only in some areas on one side of the body. Paralysis can also occur suddenly, especially if what happened was a hemorrhagic stroke.

2. Bell's palsy

Bell's palsy can also cause sudden paralysis of one side of the face, but this time it is caused by a facial nerve disorder. Symptoms of Bell's palsy in each person can be different, some are only mild muscle weakness and some are total paralysis on one side of the face.

3. Multiple sclerosis

Paralysis caused by multiple sclerosis usually occurs gradually. This disease usually begins with symptoms such as visual disturbances, pain or tingling, until slowly progressing to paralysis of the face, arms, and legs.

4. Injury

Impact or trauma to the head that results in impaired brain function can cause paralysis. In addition, injuries to the spinal cord can also cause paralysis.

5. Motor neuron disease

Paralysis due to motor nerve disease is rare. This disease is thought to be caused by an autoimmune disorder that can cause gradual paralysis which will get worse over time in the arms and legs.

6. Brain tumor

Paralysis that occurs gradually on one side of the body can be caused by a brain tumor. Symptoms that arise in addition to paralysis can include headaches, seizures, vomiting, difficulty speaking, difficulty swallowing, and psychological disorders. The appearance of symptoms in brain tumors depends on the type, location, and size of the tumor.

7. Guillain-Barré Syndrome

Guillain-Barré syndrome is an autoimmune disease that can initially cause paralysis of both legs. This paralysis can then spread to the upper body gradually over days or weeks.

If not treated immediately, this disease can cause paralysis of the respiratory muscles which can be fatal.

8. Sleep paralysis

Temporary paralysis when you start falling asleep or when you wake up is also known as sleep paralysis. This condition is known as overlap. In addition to paralysis, people who experience paralysis can also experience hallucinations.

Besides that, there are also several conditions that can cause paralysis, namely post-polio syndrome which occurs many years after having polio, cerebral palsy which occurs due to birth defects, botulism caused by food poisoning.

How to Treat Paralysis

The diagnosis is made based on the history of the patient's symptoms. In addition, the doctor will also perform a physical and supporting examination, such as reflex tests, MRI, CT scans, blood tests, and examination of the electrical conductivity of nerves. After the cause of the paralysis is known, then the paralysis will be treated.

In addition to treatment based on the cause, there are also several things that can be done to help people with paralysis, including:

  • Use of assistive devices, such as wheelchairs, to assist with daily activities or mobility
  • Physiotherapy, which is useful in increasing strength and muscle mass
  • Occupational therapy, to help patients adjust their body condition to daily activities
  • Drugs prescribed by doctors, to reduce spasms, stiffness, and muscle pain that occur due to paralysis

Whatever the cause, paralysis is a condition that cannot be taken lightly because it can reduce the quality of life of the sufferer. Therefore, if there are signs and symptoms that point to paralysis, immediately consult a doctor.

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