Paralysis: Causes,Types, and Treatments
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30, March 2024

Paralysis: Causes,Types, and Treatments

Paralysis is the inability to move your body voluntarily when something interferes with the nerve signals that go to your muscles. Paralysis can often be brought on by spinal cord injuries, strokes, and neurological conditions like multiple sclerosis.

Statistics indicate that the prevalence of paralysis and stroke is rising by nearly 50% annually in India, primarily among the younger population between the ages of 30 and 50. Doctors and medical experts believe that excessive consumption of refined carbohydrates that can cause obesity, is the major reason behind atrial fibrillation (heart rhythm disorder). Atrial fibrillation can potentially cause stroke and paralysis. Heart rhythm disorders, such as atrial fibrillation, account for the majority of paralysis cases in India. Atrial fibrillation is directly associated with rising rates of potbelly obesity and chronic heavy alcohol consumption.

To contain the emergency scourge, the paralysis treatment in Delhi is focussed on early disease detection and treatment. The Asia Pacific Heart Rhythm Society recently released a registry indicating that the number of patients in India with atrial fibrillation doubled from 2011 to 2013, increasing from 67 lakh in 2011 to 1.27 crore in 2013. Knowing the causes and symptoms of paralysis can help you in availing timely treatment and enhance the treatment success rate. Get more insight to paralysis in the following article:

What is Paralysis?

Losing the ability to use a portion of your muscles is called paralysis. It can be partial or complete, transient or permanent, localized or generalized. At any point in your life, paralysis can affect any part of your body. In most cases, the afflicted areas won't hurt or respond to external stimulus if you experience it.

The root cause of paralysis as well as the symptoms will determine the course of treatment and prognosis. You might be able to keep your freedom and standard of living with the aid of technological advancements and therapeutic interventions.

Causes of Paralysis

Paralysis results from a nervous system malfunction. Your body uses the nervous system as a command and communication system. Your body receives instructions from the brain by means of these signals. Muscles cannot receive communication if the nervous system is damaged. Certain individuals are paralyzed from birth due to birth defects like spina bifida. Muscle and nerve function is often harmed by a traumatic injury or certain medical condition. The two main causes of paralysis are spinal cord injuries and strokes. Following are the other reasons:

  • Autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS) or Guillain-Barre syndrome
  • Brain injuries causing conditions like cerebral palsy
  • Neurological diseases like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)

Types of Paralysis

Following is are the types of paralysis based on the severity:

  • Partial paralysis: There is loss of control on some muscles, but not all.
  • Complete: There is complete loss of muscle control.

Following is are the types of paralysis based on the extent:

  • Localized paralysis: It affects a section or small area of the body. Its most commonly affected areas are face, feet, hands, or vocal cords.
  • Generalized paralysis: It generally affects a larger area of the body. Following are the types of generalized paralysis:
  • Hemiplegia: It affects just one side of the body, such as one arm, one a leg on the same side of the body.
  • Diplegia: It affects the same area on each side of the body, such as both arms, both legs, or both sides of the face.
  • Monoplegia: It affects one limb either one arm or leg.
  • Quadriplegia (Tetraplegia): It involves all the limbs. Generally, there is little or no movement below the neck.
  • Paraplegia: It affects both the legs as well as torso (in certain cases).

Symptoms of Paralysis

You may be completely or partially unable to move the body parts that are paralyzed. Depending on where the injury occurred, loss of sensation may coexist with paralysis. Sudden paralysis can result from spinal cord injuries and strokes. Slow paralysis can be brought on by certain medical conditions. You might encounter following symptoms:

  • Steady or gradual loss of sensation and muscle control
  • Muscle cramping
  • Tingling sensation or numbness in limbs

Diagnosis of Paralysis

Your doctor will examine your injuries. When discussing gradual paralysis, you'll discuss the moment you realized something was wrong. Your doctor could advice one or more of the following tests to find out more:

  • X-rays showing broken bones that may cause the underlying nerve injury
  • Imaging tests, like CT scan or MRI, to confirm or rule out stroke, brain injury, or spinal cord injury
  • Myelogram to check spinal cord and nerve injuries
  • Electromyogram (EMG) tests to check electrical activity of nerves and muscles
  • Spinal tap or lumbar puncture tests that use spinal fluid to check for infection, inflammation, or disorders like multiple sclerosis (MS).

Treatment for Paralysis

Permanent paralysis has no known treatment. The spinal cord is incapable of self-healing. Temporary paralysis like Bell's palsy frequently disappears over time even without treatment. In order to improve function, physical, occupational, and speech therapy can manage paralysis to a great extent. Exercises as well as assistive technology and adaptations may also help in overcoming this condition. These rehabilitation programs can improve the quality of life and enable individuals with all kinds of paralysis to live independently.

The treatment planning for the paralysis greatly depends on the root cause of paralysis. Symptoms alleviation is done in various manners. The may plan rehabilitation with following aids:

  • Adaptive equipment to assist you in feeding or driving
  • Assistive equipment like wheelchairs, scooters, canes, and crutches to enhance your self-dependence
  • Orthotic/prosthetic devices like braces
  • Voice-activated technology including computers, lighting systems, as well as phones

Complications of Paralysis

Following complications may arise due to paralysis:

  • Troubled breathing
  • Coughing
  • Increased risk of pneumonia
  • Blood clotting 
  • Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
  • Difficulty in speaking or swallowing 
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Erectile dysfunction or other sexual problems
  • Issues with blood pressure
  • Urinary incontinence 
  • Loss of bowel control
  • Pressure injuries (bedsores) 
  • Severe infection like sepsis


The condition of paralysis can alter one's life. It can be difficult to do the things you love, even if you experience temporary paralysis. It may be difficult to acclimate to significant lifestyle changes if paralysis strikes suddenly. You can choose from a wide range of rehabilitation and mental health services provided by your healthcare provider with guidance. With the aid of mobility aids and the support of loved ones, many paralyzed people lead active lives. Avail best paralysis treatment in Delhi and enhance the treatment success rate.


Q1: Is paralysis reversible?

A: Not every type of paralysis lasts forever. A number of paralyzed people eventually regain motor control. This is made possible by the nervous system's neuroplasticity, or capacity to reorganize its neural circuitry in response to changing conditions.

Q2: Is an attack of paralysis serious?

A: Depending on where and how severe your paralysis is, it can affect blood flow, breathing, organ function, speaking or swallowing, sexual responses, or controlling the urge to use the restroom.

Dr Aaksha Shukla By -Dr Aaksha Shukla | March 30, 2024 | 9 Min Read

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