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Hemiplegia consists of the word "hemi" which means half, and the word "plegi" which means paralyzed. Hemiplegia is paralysis that occurs on one side of the body. This condition arises as a result of damage to one side of the central nervous system that regulates muscle work
Hemiplegia can occur when there is damage to the brain or spinal cord. This condition causes the muscles on one side of the body to be unable to move at all. This condition can occur in children as congenital. However, the majority of hemiplegia in adults is caused by stroke or spinal cord injury.
Recognizing the Causes and Symptoms of Hemiplegia
The brain and spinal cord both have 2 sides, namely the left and right sides. Hemiplegia or paralysis of half the body occurs when tissue damage in the organ is only found on one side.
Hemiplegia is one of the most common sequelae of stroke. Stroke causes damage to brain tissue due to lack of oxygen. If the damaged part is the part that commands the muscles to move, paralysis can occur.
The spinal cord plays a role in transmitting command signals to move from the brain to the various peripheral nerves leading to the muscles. Therefore, damage to this part can also cause paralysis. Hemiplegia that occurs due to spinal cord damage is usually the result of an injury or accident.
Some of the symptoms of hemiplegia that you need to recognize include:
- Loss of bladder control
- Difficulty speaking, swallowing and also breathing
- Stiffness and weakness in the muscles on one side of the body
- Difficulty walking
- Loss of body balance
- Difficulty holding objects
- Movement coordination disorder
Various Treatments for Hemiplegia
The goal of treating hemiplegia is to regain strength and movement that was previously limited or paralyzed. The following are some treatments for hemiplegia:
Hemiplegia physiotherapy is done with the aim of developing balance skills, building strength, and coordinating movements. This physiotherapy can be in the form of physical therapy or therapy to encourage the use of the paralyzed body part.
2. Occupational therapy
Occupational therapy is a type of therapy that focuses on learning how to handle practical tasks and daily activities, such as combing hair, dressing, and using the toilet.
3. Electrical stimulation
Electrical stimulation or electrical therapy is a therapy that must be done by medical personnel. This therapy helps stimulate muscle movement using electrical power. Electrical stimulation allows previously paralyzed muscles to contract again.
4. Adaptive Equipment
Adaptive devices are tools that can help the movement of hemiplegic sufferers. The goal is for the patient to stay active and not lose muscle.
Examples of equipment that can be provided are canes, wheelchairs, and walkers. Some adaptive devices are even designed to help people with driving, eating utensils, or he alth or beauty aids.
It can take months to years to achieve optimal recovery from hemiplegia. Therefore, sufferers are prone to frustration. So, motivation and caring support from the closest people are also important in improving the quality of life and preventing depression.
In addition, hemiplegia sufferers also need to consult regularly with their doctor to monitor the condition of the disease that underlies the occurrence of hemiplegia. For example, if hemiplegia occurs due to a stroke triggered by high blood pressure, the patient must also regularly take blood pressure-lowering drugs to prevent recurrent strokes.
Experiencing paralysis in one part of the body is a serious medical condition that you should not ignore. If you experience symptoms of hemiplegia, immediately go to the emergency room so that it can be treated as early as possible.