Paralysis is the complete loss of muscle function for one or more muscle groups. Paralysis can cause loss of feeling or loss of mobility in the affected area. Disruption of communication of nerve impulses anywhere along the pathway from the brain to the muscles can impair control of muscle movement and cause muscle weakness and loss of coordination. Muscle weakness can progress to paralysis, loss of the ability to move the muscles.
Paralysis can be complete or partial. It can occur on one or both sides of your body. It can also occur in just one area, or it can be widespread. Paralysis of the lower half of the body, including both legs, is called paraplegia. Paralysis of the arms and legs is quadriplegia. Involvement of only one side is hemiplegia.
Paralysis is most often caused by damage in the nervous system, especially the spinal cord. Other major causes are stroke, trauma with nerve injury, poliomyelitis, botulism, spina bifida, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), bell’s palsy, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy and Guillain-Barré syndrome.
Stroke and transient ischemic attack are common and potentially life-threatening causes of paralysis. Exposure to toxins and poisonings are also known to cause paralysis. The degree and extent of neurological deficit depend upon the location and extension of damage to the brain cells or nervous system. In certain cases along with motor deficits, disturbance of speech (aphasia or dysarthria) and loss of higher functions are also observed.
The distribution of paralysis offers important clues to the site of nerve damage. Hemiplegia is almost always caused by brain damage on the side opposite the paralysis, often from a stroke. Paraplegia occurs after injury to the lower spinal cord, and quadriplegia occurs after damage to the upper spinal cord at the level of the shoulders or higher (the nerves controlling the arms leave the spine at that level). Diplegia usually indicates brain damage, most often from cerebral palsy. Monoplegia may be caused by isolated damage to either the central or the peripheral nervous system. Weakness or paralysis that occurs only in the arms and legs may indicate demyelinating disease. Fluctuating symptoms in different parts of the body may be caused by multiple sclerosis. Sudden paralysis is most often caused by injury or stroke. Spreading paralysis may indicate degenerative disease, inflammatory disease such as Guillain-Barré syndrome or CIDP, metabolic disorders, or inherited demyelinating disease.
The disease has been discussed in Ayurveda under Vata vyadhi disorder. The terms Paksaghata, Paksha Vadha and Ekanga Vata have been used to describe Paralysis in Ayurveda. Ayurveda has mentioned facial paralysis as a separate disease entity called “Ardita vata”. The treatment guidelines for these conditions have been widely enumerated in the classical texts of Ayurveda.
In spite of the various treatment modalities available, Ayurveda has proved or stands to be one of the most effective treatment methodologies for the best possible recovery in Paralysis condition. So, immediately after getting discharged from Acute medical care center or hospital, it is always highly recommendable to take Ayurveda treatment.
At CHARAKA, we offer excellent Panchakarma therapies along with oral medications for treating Paralysis. The therapies like Abhyanga swedam, Nasyam, Karna pooranam, Snehapanam, Virechanam, Shiro vasti, Sarvanga dhara (Pizhichil), Pichu, Navarakizhi, Vasti etc. are done as per the necessity and condition for about 4 – 5 weeks. Apart from these Diet & Life style modifications are essential throughout the treatment of Paralysis.
Early intervention of Ayurveda treatment maximizes the recovery chances of Paralysis condition.