Nerve palsy is a collective term for a range of nervous disorders that result in weakness or immobility of nerves in some region of the body. In some cases, the palsy is only temporary and will fade over time. However, there are some types that do not respond well to either the passing of time or various treatment options. When that is the case, the palsy is deemed a permanent health issue that must be dealt with as best as possible.
One of the more well known forms of nerve palsy is known as Bell’s Palsy. This particular nervous system disorder causes either paralysis or general weakness on one side of the face. Bell’s Palsy occurs when some action causes the facial nerves that run from beneath each ear to the muscles on that side of the face to cease functioning correctly. As a result, there is either a complete loss of the ability to move one side of the mouth, open or close the eye on that side of the face, or even to register much in the way of emotion.
Fortunately, many cases of Bell’s Palsy can be treated effectively. This is especially true when the regimen of therapy and other treatments begins shortly after the development of the nerve palsy. There are even documented instances where the palsy eventually faded on its own; this possibility is most likely with cases where the paralysis is limited to a small area of the face rather than an entire side.
Other forms of this condition produce similar results, in that the nerves associated with the region become ineffectual and are not able to produce the desired function. Peroneal nerve palsy is one example. If left untreated, it can develop in a severe disability that leaves a foot completely incapacitated. Ocular nerve palsy, cranial palsy, and ulna palsy also produce this effect of weakness and inaction in other parts of the body.
Treatments for various forms of nerve palsy include medication, massage, and physical therapy. Some attempts to use surgery to reverse the effects of palsy have been made, but not with any great degree of success. Alternative treatments such as acupuncture are said to help some people recover full nerve activity, although the evidence for the efficacy of acupuncture remains mainly anecdotal.
Since there is a relatively good chance for a spontaneous recovery, it is not unusual for many people to begin to show signs of improvement within three weeks of the onset of the disorder. Generally, people who exhibit some degree of improvement early on and are under the age of fifty tend to have the best chances for a full recovery.