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   Health > Ailments > Coping With Paralysi
Coping With Paralysis - What It Means And What You Can Do

Paralysis can be an incredibly devastating condition to deal with. Whether you suffer from it yourself or whether it's a loved one, the emotional and physical trauma can be overwhelming at times. Unfortunately, many people make a bad situation worse because they don't know what paralysis is really all about. The best way to understand this condition is to tackle it step by step.

What Is Paralysis?

Paralysis can be defined as a loss of voluntary movement. This can take many different forms- for example, sleep paralysis occurs when a person can't move for the few minutes after waking up or falling asleep. If the paralysis only affects one muscle or limb, it is known as partial paralysis.

If it affects all the muscles, it is known as total paralysis. Conditions of temporary paralysis are also common and are distinguished by the fact that the paralysis only lasts for a short period of time. Paralysis can also be localized, that is when the condition only affects as mall part of the body. Generalized paralysis is more widespread. Paralysis can also be unilateral or bilateral- this means it can affect either one side or both sides of the body.

So what exactly causes paralysis? Some of the most common medical causes of paralysis are injuries to the back or neck. People who suffer a stroke usually get paralysis as well. There are also a number of diseases and conditions that cancause paralysis.

These include:

* Polio
* Bell's Palsy
* Botulism
* Peroneal Dystrophy
* Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning
* Guillain-Barre Syndrome
* Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
* Personal Injury Accidents involving Trauma to the Spine

Sometimes the news about paralysis isn't very comforting. There have been a number of cases of failed brain surgeries that have left the patient in a vegetative state. In some cases, numerous physicians have failed to correctly diagnose brain tumours that have led to paralysis. The good news is that most of these cases are simply a case of medical negligence- in terms of scientific breakthroughs, a number of positive steps have been made in the treatment of paralysis.

Statistics show that in terms of spinal cord injuries, 82 being female. Most of these injuries have occurred to people between the ages of 16 and 30.Other studies have shown that nearly 2.4 million people in the USA alone are affected with paralysis. The statistics are staggering and it's only natural to wonder if there are any preventive measures available for paralysis.

What You Can Do

To prevent paralysis due to trauma or other injuries, make sure that you take the right precautionary steps. Use seatbelts when driving- if you're working in a hazardous location; make sure you wear the right protective gear like helmets. It's also important to ensure that your employer provides you the safest working conditions possible. Controlling high blood pressure and cholesterol levels is a good way to prevent strokes, which are also a common cause for paralysis. New drugs and vaccines are also being developed in order to help prevent paralysis from setting in as a result of other diseases.

But what do you do if you've been paralysed through the negligence of others? Is there any legal action that you can take? If you have been paralysed through the actions of a third party and as a result you can no longer function normally, then you can certainly take legal action. You can seek monetary compensation if you require life-long care because of your injury or if your ability to work has been affected. Speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer to find out exactly what you can expect in your case.

You can learn more about paralysis, treatment options and how to cope by visiting the Paralysis Resource Center, The American Spine Injury Association or the American Paraplegia Society. A full ist of resources is available at http://www.makoa.org/sci.htm#gen.

About the author:
Peter Kent is the best-selling author of 50 books and hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles.
Peter Kent
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