In Dr. Sarwar Physiotherapy Centre in Dwarka, we have great physiotherapists who have worked for years with patients with hemiplegia, confirming a great improvement in their disease.
If you, or an acquaintance or relative, have any hemiplegia, do not hesitate to contact us, and without any commitment on your part, we will inform you of everything we can do so that this person can recover its functionality.
What is hemiplegia?
Hemiplegia is complete or incomplete paralysis of half the body. When it appears acutely and quickly it is called a cerebrovascular accident, and it is usually caused by an embolism or haemorrhage.
Whatever the cause, an area of the brain is without adequate blood supply and what is known as cerebral infarction appears. The effect on the body is paralysis and loss of brain functions on the affected side.
The lesions caused by hemiplegia affect the movement and sensation of part of the face, arm, leg, or both limbs of the middle of the body. Often, other functions such as vision, hearing, speech, and reasoning ability are diminished.
Hemiplegia can affect people of any age, although the most at-risk group are people of medium and advanced age, usually men. In addition, another characteristic of this disease is that the lesion on a specific side of the brain produces hemiplegia on the opposite side.
What causes hemiplegia?
The most frequent cause is a stroke, which interrupts the blood supply in a certain area of the brain. By extension, necrosis or brain tissue death occurs.
Sometimes hemiplegia is the first symptom of the presence of a brain tumour. The injury can also be caused by meningitis, severe seizures, or severe head injury.
What symptoms does hemiplegia have?
These patients have an inability or deficit to move the affected side, which causes:
- Difficulty walking, or doing it in a coordinated way.
- Balance problems
- Impossibility or difficulty to pick up and hold objects, as well as perform precise movements.
Evolution of Hemiplegia
The hemiplegic patient usually goes through three phases:
Acute or stroke phase: this is the most critical phase, just after the stroke. The main objective is the medical stabilization of the person. Today, there are specialized stroke units in many hospitals, which carry out the most immediate treatment.
Occasionally, the stroke does not take place abruptly, but there are some previous signs such as problems of vision, and speech, changes in behaviour, headaches or dizziness, among others. If these patients attend the hospital early, they can be detected without the most acute phase taking place.
Stabilization phase: in it the patient, who has left the stroke phase, shows signs of confusion and disorientation in spacetime. It is also here where alterations in the language are appreciated, in case there are any, especially if the affectation has been on the left side of the brain.
Recovery phase: in this stage, the patient is evolving towards an improvement.
After the most acute phase, during the phases of stabilization and recovery, hemiplegia passes, in turn, through two phases:
- Flaccid phase: in it, the patient cannot move the damaged side, tends not to use it by decreasing the sensitivity and awareness about it. In this first stage, the passive movements of the joints are not limited.
- Spastic phase: spasticity gradually appears. This means that muscle tone increases greatly and steadily. This causes a fixed posture, which can cause the joints to become stiffer. Normally, the arm tends to be attached to the body, in internal rotation with flexion of the elbow, wrist, and fingers. In the lower limb, both flexors and extensors are affected, which can make it possible to stand and walk.
The rehabilitation work with physiotherapy in Dwarka should be as early as possible, starting once the patient is in the stabilization phase. The first six months after the damage occurs, the brain has a greater capacity for recovery, but in more advanced stages the patient can also continue to progress in their recovery thanks to plasticity.
In this type of pathology of neurological origin, it is important, in the first phases, the maintenance of mobility to avoid incorrect postures or deformities. In successive phases of the treatment, our objective will be mainly the improvement of mobility and the increase of the independence of the patient
What is the physiotherapy treatment for hemiplegia?
The treatment of physiotherapy in hemiplegia is necessary since it is mainly aimed at improving movement and recovering functionality. It is also very important to prevent complications such as pressure ulcers, vascular problems, pneumonia, falls, etc.
This treatment will vary depending on the severity of the patient but, broadly speaking, the objectives of physiotherapy would be:
- Decrease pain
- Improve general mobility
- Reduce spasticity, which is the sustained contraction of the musculature due to the involvement of the nervous system. This causes the patients a lot of rigidity.
- Reeducate of the march
- Improve balance
- Recover functionality in the upper limb, to catch objects, grab them and hold them.
- Avoid respiratory and vascular complications
Frequently, these patients have painful shoulder syndrome, which can be the cause of the pathology itself or, sometimes, due to incorrect mobilizations of the caregiver.
From home physiotherapist in Dwarka, caregivers are taught the appropriate guidelines so that they can help patients to change their position correctly and without hurting themselves.
The rehabilitation measures will depend on the damaged brain area and the functions affected in each case.