The first step that is necessary to take to understand the meaning of the term hemiplegia is to determine its etymological origin. In this sense, we should highlight that it emanates from the Greek “hemiplegia”, which is made up of three elements:
• “Hemi”, which means “half”.
• “Plege”, which is synonymous with “hit”.
• The suffix “-ia”, which is used to indicate a quality or an action.
Hemiplegia, or hemiplegia, is a concept that is used in the field of medicine to name the paralysis of all one side of body. This means that the person suffering from hemiplegia will have paralyzed one side half of her body.
Many are the symptoms experienced by the person suffering from hemiplegia. However, among the most important we would highlight the following:
• Memory loss.
• Trouble walking, balance, or seeing.
• A considerable increase in emotional sensitivity.
• Tingling and even numbness in parts of the body.
• Decreased ability to control sphincters.
Hemiplegia can be caused by a number of factors, such as a stroke, a brain tumor, a head trauma, encephalitis, meningitis or a pathology in the spine.
In addition, two fundamental types of hemiplegia must be established:
• Right hemiplegia, which is caused by damage that has affected the left hemisphere of the brain and causes a notable loss of sensation on the left side of the body.
• Left hemiplegia, which is the result of lesions in the right hemisphere of the brain. In his case, it brings with him from a notable difficulty to be able to pick up objects to problems to carry out such simple tasks as combing his hair or drawing.
However, what is known as pure hemiplegia also occurs, which is one of the rarest, and alternating hemiplegia, which manifests itself through attacks that are preceded by a lot of fatigue, constant yawning and even moments in which the person in question feels really tired.
When the person suffers a decrease in motor power or a partial paralysis on one side of the body, there is talk of hemiparesis or hemiparesy. Hemiparesis, therefore, is less serious than hemiplegia, since there is not immobility but weakness.
Hemiplegia not only nullifies movement and sensation of part of the face, an arm and / or a leg, but also can affect other bodily functions, such as speech, vision, hearing and even the ability to reason.
It is important to note that hemiplegia implies an inability to control certain muscles even though they are not damaged, due to the brain problem. By not moving these muscles, they become rigid and they atrophy from lack of use. To avoid or minimize spasticity (stiffness) of the muscles, the patient can perform different physical exercises indicated by their doctor or therapist.
The physiotherapy, the acupuncture and the massages they can be part of a hemiplegia rehabilitation treatment to strengthen the muscles and make the patient feel better.