Can Physiotherapy Treat Paralysis?

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Paralysis

The Answer is Yes!

Physiotherapy has an important role to play at helping paralysis patients adapt to their lives, by making them as independent as possible. Paralysis treatment also focuses on addressing health problems and potential complications that may arise.

Physiotherapy techniques in paraplegia have developed considerably. However, all the techniques of physiotherapy have a common goal and that is the complete rehabilitation of the patient.

WHAT is Paralysis

  • Inability to act or function properly
  • Loss of movement
  • Loss of sensation

TYPES of Paralysis

  • Monoplegia-Where only one limb is affected by the paralysis
  • Hemiplegia–Where arm and leg on one side of the body is paralysed.
  • Paraplegia- Where both legs get paralysed.
  • Quadriplegia—Where both arms as well as legs paralysed.

CAUSES of Paralysis

Our senses of movement and feeling are controlled by the communication between the central nervous system (consisting of the brain & spinal cord) and the peripheral nervous system (the sensory nerves). Any disruption of communication or nerve impulses from the brain to muscles could affect muscle control and movement adversely. This in turn leads to loss of coordination as well as weakness in the muscles, which could gradually progress to paralysis.

SYMPTOMS of Paralysis

  • Loss of Motor power
  • Loss of Deep and superficial sensation
  • Loss of Vasomotor control
  • Loss of Bladder and bowel control
  • Loss of Sexual function

ROLE OF PHYSIOTHERAPY

  • Physiotherapy should be started as soon as possible. It will help to improve blood circulation and relax muscles. It can also slow down the progress of paralysis. Treatment can improve muscle tone and the general well-being of the patient.
  • When brain has suffered an external injury, physiotherapy may reduce swelling and speed recovery.
  • Therapy focuses on helping the patient remain as mobile as possible.
  • Physiotherapy focus on maintenance of respiratory function
  • Prevention of pressure sores and contracture.
  • The physiotherapist may work on unaffected muscles, so they can compensate for those suffering paralysis. Physiotherapy also helps maintain and build strength in the affected muscles. This will help prevent the limbs from becoming deformed.
  • Management of paralyzed bladder and bowel by Physiotherapy training.
  • Transfer of patient can become easy by learning different techniques from physiotherapist.
  • Properly prescribed wheelchair by physiotherapist can be a useful device in reintegrating a person with disability into the community.
  • A physical therapist also suggests adaptive equipment such as splint, orthosis, braces, canes.
  • Post traumatic period may include phases of anxiety, depression, denial, internalized anger, and externalized hostility experienced by patient. Physiotherapy has a big role to play in resolving these problems, so that it won’t affect the patient’s condition.
  • Physiotherapy will help in building up the motivation and moral of the patient.
  • Patient and family education to emphasize safety and awareness is given by physiotherapist.
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Dr. Dolly Khanka is a Masters in Neuro Physiotherapy and has 4 years of experience in treating paralysis patient. Currently, she is working with Portea as a physiotherapist. Her constant endeavor to update her skills and passion for learning makes her stand out from the crowd.

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