Paralysis is the loss of the capacity of voluntary movement in some parts of the body, like the hands, legs or torso making the patient to become explicitly dependent on some one else to accomplish the most routine of tasks.
The loss of voluntary movement is accompanied by numbness, or loss of sensation, in the affected part. Thus the patient does not feel any pain or changes like heat, cold, etc. in the paralyzed part of the body.
In due time, the circulation and other metabolic activities of the affected part may come to stop there by causing atrophy (degenerate) and change in the shape of the affected part.
Types of paralysis
- Monoplegia – only one limb, i.e. either hand or leg is affected
- Diplegia – both the limbs are affected
- Paraplegia – both the trunk and the legs are affected
- Hemiplegia – only one side of the body is affected
- Quadriplegia – the trunk and all the four limbs are affected
Strokes, tumors in the brain or in the spinal region, injuries are some of the main causative factors of paralysis.
Paralysis when left untreated for a long period will lead to the ‘death’ of the affected part, i.e wasting of muscles and tissues in that part. Speech impairment, loss of vision and hearing may also result.
The main aim of the treatment is to regain function and restore appearance of the affected part. The secondary aim is to expel the toxins from the body. This directly helps to clear the channels of nervous coordination and hence treat the condition.
To help patients with nerve damage regain function, regular massages, mud therapy, and hydrotherapy are essential. They are given to improve circulation of the blood, increase the level of metabolic processes, weaken hypertension and muscle rigidity, reduce general constraint and shivering, slow down the progress of the disease, increase the living tone as well as physical and emotional activity of the patients. Hydrotherapy in the form of spinal sprays, immersion baths and packs helps to revitalize the tone of the nerves which was less or lost. Under water exercises are more beneficial in the early days of the treatment to avoid the action of gravity, there by enhancing easy movements on the affected part.
A course of physiotherapy is also recommended to completely recover from the condition. The passive .exercises implemented by the therapist and later the active exercises by the patient himself helps to keep the paralysed muscles from wasting from lack of use while also strengthening the unaffected muscles. Diet therapy is the best method to detoxify the body. Based on the patient’s ability, fasting is also prescribed for detoxification. As the patient’s mobility is restricted on the early days it is ideal to supplement fiber rich foods to promote the bowel functions. Fruits serve this purpose as they are the natural laxatives. The added advantage of having the natural foods in the form of sprouts, salads and vegetable soups is that they provide all the minerals and vitamins in easy assimilable form. Diet plan thus has to be custom tailored.
Acupressure and acupuncture are also advocated to reduce the muscle spasms, increase level of sensation and fasten the recovery. Rest and relaxation should also be an integral part of the treatment to help to compensate for the loss of power.