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What is Paralysis

What is Paralysis

Paralysis is the inability to move muscles on your own and with purpose. Paralysis can be a complete loss of movement known as plegia, or a significant weakness called paresis.

Plegia and Paresis can be added to other terms in order to describe the severity and area of weakness. For example, monoplegia/monoparesis is complete loss of movement or weakness of one limb. Hemiplegia/hemiparesis is complete loss of movement or weakness of arm and leg on same side of the body. Paraplegia/paraparesis is complete loss or weakening of both legs.

Tetraplegia/tetraparesis or quadraplegia/quadraparesis is complete loss or weakness of both arms and both legs.

Paralysis is caused by injury or disease affecting the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) which means that the nerve signals sent to the muscles are interrupted. This disturbance in the pathways between the brain and the muscles means that the muscles are not given the instructions to move as they would do normally. Some of the causes of paralysis include:

  • Stroke
  • Trauma; to head or spinal cord
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Charcot Marie Tooth disease
  • Parkinson?s disease
  • Dementia
  • Poliomyelitis
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Spina bifida
  • Guillian-Barre syndrome
  • Bells?s palsy
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Motor neurone disease

All individuals with paralysis will substantially benefit from a neurological physiotherapy assessment and treatment plan in order to improve muscle strength, increase the ability to carry out functional activities and to maximise overall quality of life.

Paralysis

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