An overview of paralysis

| Apr 30, 2021 | Firm News |

According to the Oxford Dictionary, paralysis is a condition where you no longer have the ability to move or feel part or most of your body. People living with paralysis may face long-term difficulties beyond the inability to move.

What causes paralysis

There are many ways someone can become paralyzed, such as:

  • Infectious disease
  • Genetic conditions
  • Toxic exposure
  • Catastrophic injury

It is paralysis resulting from a catastrophic injury that many find the most emotionally devastating. When someone becomes permanently paralyzed, they may never stand or walk again.

Paralysis, permanent or temporary, all stem from the same underlying issue: an interference with nerves. The human body has two main nervous systems:

  • The central nervous system: This includes the brain and the spinal cord
  • The peripheral nervous system: Everything besides the brain and spinal cord

Paralysis occurs when something causes damage or otherwise interferes with your nerve’s ability to send and receive information. If the interference happens in the peripheral nervous system, such as when your leg “falls asleep,” then the paralysis is localized to that limb. In a case like this, you may not have paralysis in another part of the body.

However, if the damage or interference is in the central nervous system, that can cause wide-ranging effects. The central nervous system delivers information – pain, pleasure, marching orders – to and from the peripheral nervous system to the brain. If damage occurs anywhere in the spinal cord or brain stem after a car crash, that information transfer cannot complete.

Additional dangers

The significantly decreased mobility that comes with paralysis may lead to:

  • Bedsores
  • Muscle atrophy
  • Blood clots
  • Loss of bladder and bowel control
  • Altered organ function

These issues may require ongoing monitoring or treatment. It could be mean a lifetime of difficulty. However, if you or a loved one became paralyzed due to a car or truck accident or someone else’s negligence, you do not have to contend with these difficulties alone.