Paralysis happens when the links of communication between the central nervous system and the rest of your body are impaired or severed. While in most cases, this means that the limbs are no longer able to move, lack of movement does not necessarily have to be present to be considered paralysis. Basically, paralysis occurs when you are unable to move your muscles. When you are paralyzed or a victim of paralysis, you can’t move certain parts of your body and the nerves that send signals to your muscles are no longer effective.

There are several reasons for paralysis to happen, but the most common are (sourced from the Reeve Foundation):

  • Stroke 29%
  • Spinal Cord Injury 23%
  • Multiple Sclerosis 17%
  • Cerebral Palsy 7%
  • Post-Polio Syndrome 5%
  • Traumatic Brain Injury 4%
  • Neurofibromatosis 4%
  • Birth Defect 2%

The severity of paralysis is determined by the type of injury sustained. There have been some instances where people experience temporary paralysis and then shortly thereafter, regain partial or full movement. An example of this would be Bell’s palsy. This type of paralysis temporarily affects facial muscles.

Then there is permanent paralysis. When this occurs, you never regain muscle control. This condition is irreversible.

Paralysis can affect and be broken down into two different categories based on the site of the injury in the nervous system. As discussed above, partial paralysis is a condition in which you can control some muscles but not all. Complete paralysis is when you are unable to control any muscle movement.

The two categories of paralysis are known as either flaccid or spastic. Flaccid paralysis is when your muscles get flabby and shrink while a spastic condition causes the muscles to tighten thus resulting in uncontrollable jerks and spasms.

Currently, approximately 2% of people in the United States have paralysis. Of most concern, there are approximately 1.275 million people who are paralyzed to some degree due to a spinal cord injury.
In nearly 70% of the cases, spinal cord injuries and the resulting paralysis are caused by an accident of some sort, whether it is a work accident, a car crash, or a sporting and recreation accident. Here are the top 8 reasons why spinal cord injury occurs (from the Reeve Foundation):

  • Accident Working 28%
  • Motor Vehicle Accident 24%
  • Sporting / Recreation Accident 16%
  • Fall 9%
  • Unknown 9%
  • Victim of Violence 4%
  • Birth Defect 3%
  • Natural Disaster 1%

When an accident occurs, it is absolutely vital that the doctors and emergency personnel act quickly, as it’s possible that further damage to the body can occur. Unfortunately, there are times when physicians do not act quickly enough.

It only takes a few moments for a lifetime to change. Jed Kurzban, a Hawaii paralysis lawyer, can help you with his expertise.

What are the types of paralysis?

The classifications of paralysis are generally talked about in terms of how many limbs and what portion of the body is affected by the paralysis.

Hemiplegia: This is usually caused by a stroke that affects only one hemisphere of the brain. This type of paralysis happens on one side of the body.

Diplegia: This type of paralysis is related to two sides being affected. Both sides of the face or each arm has been paralyzed. This is different from paraplegia, as it’s not affecting the legs.

Monoplegia: A very localized area of the motor cortex has been affected in monoplegia. This is paralysis that affects a single limb.

Paraplegia: Both legs have been affected by an injury that happened under the thoracic vertebra.

Quadriplegia: This term refers to paralysis that affects all of the limbs and torso. When this happens, there has been an injury above the thoracic vertebra.

Identifying if you have paralysis can be done by monitoring your muscle movements. If you are partly or entirely unable to move the affected parts of your body that are a good indication you have paralysis. This condition is sometimes accompanied by a loss of sensation. Strokes and spinal cord injuries are known to cause sudden paralysis. Medical conditions that can cause gradual paralysis include; a steady loss of feeling and muscle control, muscle cramps, and tingling or numbness in the limbs.

A healthcare professional can examine you and inquire about any of your recent injuries to help diagnose paralysis. In terms of gradual paralysis, you will be asked to talk about when you first noticed the problem. The healthcare provider may order one or more of the following tests for an accurate diagnosis:

  • X-rays- show broken bones that are the main culprit of nerve injury.
  • Imaging tests- CT scans or MRIs check for signs of a stroke, brain injury, or spinal cord injury. Whole-body imaging scans will display bones, muscles, and tissues.
  • Myelogram- this test checks for spinal cord and nerve injuries
  • Electromyogram-tests electrical activity of the nerves and muscles
  • Spinal tap- checks on spinal fluid for infection, inflammation, and other disorders like MS, or multiple sclerosis.

Unfortunately, this is no cure for permanent paralysis. The spinal cord is unable to heal itself. With temporary paralysis like Bell’s palsy, it will often go away on its own over time without treatment. Treatment options to alleviate paralysis are physical, occupational, and speech therapy which can help people live independently and enjoy a better quality of life. Other methods of treatment include special equipment like wheelchairs, scooters, crutches, canes, braces, or computers.

The best way to prevent paralysis is to lower your chances by always wearing a seatbelt in the car, checking water depths before diving, refraining from driving under the influence, and never moving someone who may have a head, neck, or spine injury.

When paralysis happens, regardless of the injury, it is a hardship for the family. What used to be perfectly working limbs are suddenly unusable. Because of this, the person who has paralysis in Hawaii has to learn a completely new way of living.

This new way of living generally involves physical therapy, support groups, increased medical bills, loss of working situation, and more. And, with that, pain is associated with it. Who takes care of the paralyzed in Hawaii? Jed Kurzban can get you the compensation you need.

If you need a paralysis or Organ failure attorney in Hawaii or any other place in the islands, please don’t hesitate to call the catastrophic injury attorney offices of Jed Kurzban at your earliest opportunity. Your free consultation can help to answer the questions that you need to be answered.