Brazilian Natural Medicine

Hemiplegia: what it is, causes, symptoms and treatment

Hemiplegia is a neurological disorder in which there is paralysis on one side of the body and that can occur as a result of cerebral palsy, infectious diseases that affect the nervous system or Cerebral Vascular Accident (CVA), which is the main cause of hemiplegia in adults.

As a result of paralysis on one side of the body, it is possible to notice difficulty walking, sitting and, in some cases, speaking. Although hemiplegia is not fully reversible, it is important that the treatment indicated by the neurologist and physical therapist is started as soon as possible, as it is possible to improve the person’s quality of life.

Main causes

Hemiplegia can be caused by brain damage, such as hemorrhage, congestion or embolism, and it can also appear as a symptom of atherosclerosis or after a stroke, which is the main cause in adults. Learn how to identify stroke.

In the case of children, hemiplegia is often related to meningitis or other infectious diseases that compromise the nervous system, however cerebral palsy and consequently hemiplegia due to severe dehydration can also occur. In addition, hemiplegia in children can also be a consequence of complications in pregnancy, which is known as congenital hemiplegia.

Symptoms of hemiplegia

The symptoms of hemiplegia are related to neurological changes that lead to paralysis on one side of the body, which can be characterized by joint pain, decreased sensitivity on the affected side of the body and difficulty in performing some movements. In addition, symptoms may vary depending on which side of the brain is affected, however, in general, the signs and symptoms of hemiplegia are:

  • Affected side of the face contracted, leaving the mouth crooked and difficulty opening and closing the eyes;
  • Difficulty moving the arm and leg on the side affected by the “stroke”;
  • spasticity or stiffness, where the arm tends to be shrunk and the leg tends to be very stiff and it is difficult to bend the knee;
  • Difficulty in initiating movements with the affected arm and leg;
  • Changes in posture, especially scoliosis;
  • Difficulty in orienting oneself in relation to the environment;
  • Do not dress starting from the affected side;
  • Difficulty with numbers, being difficult to perform calculations, for example.
  • Difficulty distinguishing right from left in self and others;
  • Difficulty remembering what to do;
  • Difficulty planning or executing tasks.

These changes may not all be present in the person, as it depends on the severity of the injury and their recovery. Cerebral palsy is progressive, although symptoms can range from almost imperceptible to severe spasticity (stiffness), in all forms speech can be difficult to understand due to difficulty in controlling the muscles related to the pronunciation of words. Understand what spasticity is.

It is important that as soon as the first signs indicative of hemiplegia are noticed, the neurologist is consulted, so that an evaluation can be carried out, based on the symptoms presented and the result of imaging tests, so that the diagnosis is concluded and the cause identified. of hemiplegia, and thus initiate the most appropriate treatment with the objective of improving the person’s quality of life.

How is the treatment done?

The treatment of hemiplegia is done with the objective of improving the person’s quality of life, and rehabilitation is usually carried out with functional therapy and physiotherapy, mainly, since it improves the facial appearance, limb mobility and gives more independence to the person to carry out their activities. daily. Learn how physiotherapy is done for hemiplegia.

In some cases, the use of botulinum toxin is indicated as a way to reduce spasticity and improve the person’s ability to move, but not everyone is indicated for such treatment. As a rule, treatment for hemiplegia begins with the specific treatment of the cause of hemiplegia, such as a stroke or meningitis, for example, and is complemented with physiotherapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, hydrotherapy and, sometimes, physical activity performed in a individual with a specialized physical educator.

Surgery is performed only as a last resort, when the person has muscle contractures, and is done by cutting some ligaments to relieve contractures.

Always consult a doctor.

Verified by RJ985 – Brazilian natural medicine

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