Being unable to move a certain part of the body, whether small or large, can be very traumatic. Many people will have to live with this condition for the rest of their lives. Paralysis is the inability to move or control a part of the body and can be one of the most difficult things to live with. Damage to the nerves due to injury or disease can sever the connection between the nerves and the muscles muscles, resulting in non-functioning and sometimes deteriorating muscles.
If you have ever heard a condition ending with 'plegia' or 'paresis', it refers to the paralysis or significant weakening of a part of the body. Different limbs with paralysis have different names. Some of the more common words used to describe paralysis in a part or parts of the body are:
Monoplegia (or monoparesis) – This is the inability to use a single limb. Monoparesis is a significant weakening of a single limb.
Hemiplegia (or hemiparesis) – If a person is very weak or paralyzed on the left or right side of the body he or she has one of these two conditions. Stroke victims can experience hemiplegia. Polio also attacks the nervous system and can leave a victim paralyzed.
Paraplegia (or paraperesis) – If you have ever seen a person in a wheelchair who was completely unable to get out of the wheelchair, he or she has paraplegia. Paraplegia is the condition of having both legs paralyzed. If the wheel-chaired person is able to move to a different area while upright, even if at a slow pace, he or she probably has paraperesis.
Quadraplegia (or quadriplegic) – The quadraplegic condition is being paralyzed from both legs and arms.
Any kind of nerve-damaging injury or disease can cause paralysis. Also, brain and spinal cord damage will result in nerve damage or disruption. Motor neurones in the nerve constantly send signals to the muscles to maintain tightness. Some common conditions that cause this are: severe neck / head / back trauma, tumors, stroke, spina bifida, and multiple sclerosis. Damage to one side of the brain also causes paralysis to the opposite side of the body. Many injuries are work-related and sometimes result in legal compensation for the victim.