Damage to the brain resulting in paralysis of any one side of body is called as Hemiplegia. Here, the motor centers of the brain are affected which results in loss of function of body.
- Stroke-most common cause
- Birth injury
- Infections like meningitis, encephalitis etc
- Brain tumor
- Neurological disorders like multiple sclerosis
- Alcohol intake
- Lack of physical exercise
- Oral contraceptives
- High level cholesterol in blood
- Family history
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
It depends upon the part of brain which is affected. Usual symptoms include
- Difficulty in walking
- Difficulty in swallowing food or drinks
- Trouble with vision including blurry vision or weak vision
- Difficulty in speaking
- Loss of sensation on body parts
- Tingling sensation
- Loss of control over bowel or bladder movements
- Depressed feeling
- Unable to perform day to day activities like dressing, holding objects, etc.
- Loss of memory
- Disorientation of time, date, place, etc.
- One of the classic features associated with hemiplegia is Bell’s palsy (facial paralysis) – it depends upon which side of brain is affected.
- Blood tests including – complete blood count, lipid profile, renal profile, diabetic profile
- Blood biochemistry test
- Cranial CT scan
- Cranial MRI scan
- Doppler study
- PET scan
Hemiplegia is referred to as Pakshaaghaatha as per Ayurveda. Paksha means one half and aaghaatha means injury. Thus injury to one half of the body is called as pakshaaghaatha. It is a Vaatha vyadhi which is actually difficult to treat, but can be managed well by improving the quality of life of patient to a great extent.
- Udvartana (rubbing of medicinal powder in body): This procedure is appreciated for its ability to remove underlying inflammation. It also reduces excess fat and bestows pleasantness to skin.
- Abhyanga and Gatra sweda (oiling the body and steaming): This procedure is very relaxing and soothing to the muscles, ligaments and tendons. It improves flexibility of joints.
- Pizhichil or Kaaya seka (pouring of medicinal oil from a short height all over body in a systematic pattern for a fixed duration along with light massage): It is a highly effective and widely applied procedure that can reduce pain and improve mobility. Depending upon the oil selected, the outcome differs.
- Dhaara (pouring of liquid or oil either all over body or localized to any area): According to disease, liquid or oil fordhaara The common types of dhaara employed are Dhanyamla dhaara, Takra dhaara, Taila dhaara, Kashaya dhaaraetc.
- Kizhi: Kizhi is the preparation of a poultice filled with medicine. Depending upon the medicine that is filled in the poultice, it is named differently. Regular systematic application of the poultice on body, after heating it, is the procedure. It is a very efficient process to relieve pain, stimulate the nerve endings and improve circulation. The commonly employed types of Kizhi are:
Njavara Kizhi or Shashtika pinda sweda: Njavara or shashtika is a special variety of rice. It is boiled and made to poultice. This procedure is known for rejuvenating nerves and tone muscles. It is a nourishing therapy.
Podi Kizhi or Choorna panda sweda: It is a fomentation therapy where medicinal powders are made into poultice, heated and applied to body in a systematic way for a particular duration.
Ela Kizhi or Pathra potala sweda: It is a fomentation therapy where medicinal leaves are made to poultice and the mode of application is same as above. Both are very effective poorvakarmas. They loosen and detach the excessively accumulated body components making their elimination from body easy.
- Talam: Application of medicine to a point in the scalp where quick cutaneous absorption takes place resulting in fast action of the medicine.
- Shiro lepa: Application of medicinal paste to head for a fixed duration.
- Various procedures to stimulate the sense organs
Among the five cleansing therapies, Purgation therapy or Virechana and Enema therapy or Vasthi are the choice in hemiplegic patients.
The selection is made as per the condition of the patient.
Hospitalization and regular follow up every year will be needed to recover the lost functions of the brain.