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Does Physiotherapy for Paralysis work?

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Paralysis is a clinical condition in which you lose muscle function in a body part and any feeling in the affected area. Paralysis can be caused by various factors, the most common of which are injuries to the spinal cord or brain, strokes, and multiple sclerosis. It is true that in many cases, physiotherapy for paralysis restores mobility in the affected body part. However, you must start physiotherapy as soon as possible to aid in the blood circulation and muscle relaxation of the paralyzed body part.

Identifying the Type of Paralysis

The four main types of paralysis and their description have been given below:

1. Monoplegia

Monoplegia affects only one limb, typically an arm or leg on one side of the body. This occurs when a part of the nervous system is damaged, causing nerve signaling to the muscles in the affected limb to be disrupted. Monoplegia can affect either the upper or lower body, as well as one arm or leg. People with monoplegia can move and feel sensations in their bodies except for the affected limb. Paralysis recovery exercises can help bring back sensation and movement to some extent in this paralysis.

2. Hemiplegia

Hemiplegia is a condition in which the lower face, arm, and leg muscles on one side of the body are paralyzed. Stroke, which damages the corticospinal tracts in one of the two hemispheres of the brain, is the most common cause of hemiplegia.

It mainly affects both an arm and a leg on the same side of the body. Hemiplegia often starts with a tingling sensation and progresses to muscle weakness and then to complete paralysis. Early physiotherapy in hemiplegia can stop its progression.

3. Paraplegia

The paralysis of the lower part of the body caused by a spinal cord injury is known as paraplegia. It is caused by severe spinal cord and nervous system damage. It primarily affects the trunk, legs, and pelvic region, resulting in movement loss. People who are affected cannot walk, move their legs, or feel anything below the waist. Physiotherapy, which strengthens muscles and nerve connections while retraining the brain and spinal cord to work around restrictions, can help people regain some function.

4. Quadriplegia

When a person is paralyzed from the neck down, including the trunk, legs, and arms, it is called quadriplegia. An injury usually causes the condition to the spinal cord, which damages the nerves that transmit movement and sensation messages from the brain to different parts of the body resulting in loss of function. Some people with quadriplegia regain some or all of their function, while others gradually help train their brains and bodies through dedicated physiotherapy and exercise.

Physiotherapy for Paralysis Treatment

Many people have regained their body movement and sensation with the help of physiotherapy. Your physiotherapist will first identify the type of paralysis you have and then begin the treatment for it accordingly. There are many paralysis recovery exercises, including physiotherapy for paralyzed legs, hands, and lower body. The type of physiotherapy provided for paralysis will also be determined by the cause and severity of your symptoms. The physiotherapy process for paralysis consists of:

Manual Therapy

It is the first approach of physiotherapy involving:

  • soft or deep tissue massage
  • gentle joint mobilization or manipulation
  • localized tendon or ligament work
  • joint or muscle stretches.

Paralysis Recovery Exercises

Various exercises are used to rehabilitate and strengthen bones, joints, tendons, ligaments, and muscles after paralysis. The exercises taught to patients are tailored to their specific needs. They are reviewed and progressed regularly your body responds to the therapy by improving strength and flexibility. Continuing these exercises regularly is mandatory for patients to see improvement. These exercises primarily focus on:

  • strengthening the muscles
  • Stretches to maintain motion
  • stability exercises
  • improving balance
  • reinstructing walking pattern
  • Sensory stimulation of muscles
  • electric stimulation
  • help with walking aids and equipment
  • exercises pool and gyms


This part of physiotherapy involves educating the patient about their condition to cope with it in a better way. It is one of the most effective rehabilitation tools. Knowledge about your disease allows you to understand and manage it quickly and makes it easier to achieve complete recovery. It is also great for preventing future injuries.

Benefits of Physiotherapy for Paralysis

Treating paralysis with different types of physiotherapy can have the following benefits:

  • Increases muscle strength
  • Improves core stability and posture
  • Improves balance while sitting or standing
  • Increases stamina while doing activities
  • Helps in co-ordination
  • Improves sensation
  • Helps in doing daily tasks easily

Consulting a Physiotherapist

Paralysis is a severe condition, and its symptoms should never be ignored. If you or anyone in your family is experiencing any of the symptoms of paralysis given above, you should contact a doctor immediately. You can book an appointment or online consultation with the Top Physiotherapists in Karachi via Marham.


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