Paralysis is defined as a loss of muscle function for one or more muscles, commonly associated with motor and sensory loss in the affected area. Whether it happened because of a traumatic event such as a car accident or due to a health condition, there are many situations in life that can lead to paralysis.
The following are the four most common causes of paralysis:
- Head injury – Severe head injury can cause brain damage, marring blood vessels and nerves. Paralysis can happen if a portion of the brain which controls certain muscles is damaged during a severe head injury.
- Spinal cord injury – The spinal cord is part of the body’s central nervous system, consisting of a bundle of nerves—which runs from your brain and down the spinal vertebrae—that transmits signals to and from the brain and body. If the neck or spine is harmed, the spinal cord could also be damaged. A serious injury can cause the brain to no longer transmit signals to the muscles, resulting in paralysis. Most common causes of spinal cord injury are motor vehicle accidents, work accidents, falls, sports, and disease.
- Stroke – Known as a serious medical condition that occurs when the blood supply to your brain is agitated. The brain, like all organs, requires a consistent supply of blood that contains oxygen and nutrients to function properly. If the blood supply is restricted or stopped, brain cells will start dying, often causing paralysis in the process.
- Multiple sclerosis (MS) – MS is a condition where nerve fibers in the spinal cord become damaged by the immune system, mistakenly attacking a substance called myelin that surrounds nerve fibers and helps transmit nerve signals. The damage of the myelin surrounding the nerve fibers can result in paralysis.