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Physiotherapy Treatment for Paralysis

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The physiotherapy treatment provided for paralysis will be dependent upon the cause and severity of the symptoms. This will be established by a thorough subjective and objective neurological assessment in the clinic or in the home environment. Following the assessment, there will be the opportunity to discuss your goals and expectations of physiotherapy treatment.

Physiotherapy Treatment for Paralysis

Physiotherapy treatment for paralysis may focus on:

  • Muscle strengthening
  • Stretches to maintain muscle length and joint range of motion
  • Core stability exercises
  • Dynamic balance work
  • Transfer practice
  • Re-education of walking pattern
  • Sensory stimulation
  • Facilitation of return to hobbies/driving/work
  • Use of gymnasium facilities
  • Use of hydrotherapy pool
  • Functional electrical stimulation
  • Provision of walking aids and equipment
  • Carer education

You may want your physiotherapist to liaise with other health professionals that are involved in your care. This is a positive step that will ensure holistic management and optimum improvement in overall quality of life. Other members of the multi-disciplinary team that may be involved include an occupational therapist, orthoptist, psychologist, speech and language therapist and continence nurse.

The benefits of physiotherapy are:

  • Increased muscle strength
  • Maintain range of movement and muscle length
  • Improved core stability
  • Improved sitting/standing balance
  • Improved co-ordination and sensation
  • Improved posture
  • Improved ability to complete transfers
  • Improved walking pattern and stamina
  • Improved ability to carry out day to day activities
  • Exercises to complete at home independently or with family

Physiotherapy can greatly help a patient of paralysis by making him/her independent to the maximum extent. Physiotherapy also plays an important role in negating potential complications after a paralysis. Although the process of rehabilitation can take time, it produces significantly encouraging result for a patient to continue with it until full recovery. The recovery depends on the type of paralysis a person has undergone. Notably, there are four types of paralysis:

  • Hemiplegia
  • Quadriplegia
  • Paraplegia
  • Monoplegia

Role of Physiotherapy

The process of physiotherapy should resume as soon as the patient is stabilized. It not only helps in relaxing muscles, but also helps in smooth blood circulation. Long-term therapy can ensure muscle tone and overall well-being of an individual.

In the case of an external injury related to the brain, physiotherapy can speed up the recovery and reduce swelling to a significant extent. 

Some of the benefits are

  • Physiotherapy can help a person regain the highest possible mobility.
  • Physiotherapy can increase the respiratory function of a person.
  • It helps the person in bringing down blood pressure and contracture.
  • A physiotherapist also focuses on unaffected area and works on them to ensure that the unaffected part of the body, in no way, loses mobility and retains the natural strength.
  • Physiotherapy also helps to manage a paralyzed bladder.
  • A physiotherapist suggests proper wheelchair, splint, braces, orthosis etc. These help a person to reintegrate quickly after the paralysis.
  • Physiotherapy lifts the morale and motivation of a patient by addressing post-traumatic experiences such as denial, anger, hostility, depression and anxiety.
  • It also serves as a perfect guide for the family of the patient.

Exercises that a Physiotherapist Suggests

Aerobic Exercise: This is a set of physical exercises that lets the muscle tissues exchange oxygen at a rapid rate. The goal is to enhance the function of the motor neuron and the aerobic capacity of a patient. Support straps and gain belts might be required for a patient to stand on feet. A handrail helps to walk during this phase.

Physical Conditioning: Balance, stability, and coordination is the motive of any physical program for a paralyzed individual. Passive or active motion exercises help an individual to regain function of the limbs. Passive exercise also helps to regain strength. A physiotherapist rotates the thumb of a patient in such a way that the back of his hand faces forward.

Leg Rotations: One common exercise that is tried by a physiotherapist is to make the patient lie down on a mat with his/her legs straightened. Supporting the knee joint and the ankle, the right leg is moved outward and pulled backward. This is again repeated with the other leg. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a physiotherapist and ask a free question.

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