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Paraplegia meaning, symptoms, and treatment



Paraplegia can be acknowledged as a condition in which one’s lower body is paralyzed because of some injury either in the spinal cord or in the controlling portion of the head. Any disturbance in the neurological part of the brain results in the neurons not sending any signals to the body parts and hence it becomes paralyzed.

Paraplegia can be diagnosed by its basic symptoms and a few tests can be run also to find out the internal damages. In most of the situations there is limited treatment that proves the disease to go away from its roots but it can help the symptoms to get better. Let us now discuss the causes, symptoms, and treatment of paraplegia.


Paraplegia causes


More often it is either caused by any injury or by any condition which hampers the body’s ability to move its lower half. The injury by and large affects the spinal cord which makes it difficult to operate on the rest of the body down. Any sort of disturbance in the neurological part of the brain which controls the movements of the body can also be a reason for paraplegia. These include cancer, cerebral palsy, strokes, tumour, demyelinating disorders, infections in the head and the spinal cord. Many diseases of nerves, muscles and neuromuscular junctions may have presentation like paraparesis.  


Paraplegia symptoms


Paraplegia symptoms can differ from person to person and may not show at the same time as well. While some of the most basic symptoms such as the paralysis itself begin as soon as the disease is started in most of cases. Other symptoms like pain, sensory loss, sexual dysfunctions, skin changes and bladder-bowel dysfunction may precede; appear concurrent or late in course. To provide proper information regarding these symptoms, their onset and severity to doctor is important for diagnosis and treatment. Many a times comorbidities and apparently unrelated issues, family history, occupational history and travel history are useful in making diagnosis.

Depression is also seen to be one of the significant symptoms of paraplegia as the patient’s will is deteriorating. One must talk about all the symptoms he or she is experiencing at the time of diagnosis for better treatment and recovery.


Paraplegia treatment and rehabilitation


Before starting the paraplegia treatment, the patient must get a proper diagnosis done as the treatment differs from person to person depending on the diagnosis. Generally, the treatment starts by looking into the symptoms and some tests are also conducted for evaluation. The test includes an MRI, CT SCAN or, X-RAY along with blood investigations. Patient may need some specialized test to diagnose case as decided by the doctors. These are considered the best to find out any internal damages and to start further treatment.

Now as far as the treatment is concerned, it can start from physical therapies, medications and go up to surgeries depending on the condition and intensity of the disorder.

Physical treatments are very helpful to decrease the severity, prevent complication and increased the functionality of the patient. These include different kinds of therapies that may help build pain tolerance and increase muscle power along with building strength plus preventing further deterioration. The second kind of treatment includes mobile help devices like wheelchairs which help the patients to move around easily. Therapy also includes teaching the sufferers to complete their daily tasks slowly without any external assistance.

Medications are given to decrease the inflammation or pressure symptoms on spinal cord. Specific treatments and long term planning are required on case to case basis. Surgeries are required for structural lesions causing compression.




Paraplegia is a kind of paralytic condition that hampers the lower portion of the body. Timely and correct treatment and interventions along with good rehabilitation can change the life of patient in positive direction.

Dr. Ritwiz Bihari
Meet The Doctor
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