What is hemiplegia?

Hemiplegia is paralysis that affects only one side of your body. This symptom is often a key indicator of severe or life-threatening conditions like a stroke, but can also happen with conditions and circumstances that aren’t as dangerous.

Hemiplegia is paralysis, which means you can’t move or control the muscles in the affected body part. That can cause muscles that are completely limp. It can also cause spastic hemiplegia, a type of paralysis where muscles contract uncontrollably. Hemiplegia affects either the right side of your body (right hemiplegia) or the left side of your body (left hemiplegia), with your spine (backbone) being the dividing line between the two halves.

Hemiplegia may affect your face, arm and leg on one side of your body in various ways: The paralysis may not be present, or not be as severe in all of these three body areas. There are even some rare conditions that cause hemiplegia to come and go, affecting one or both sides of the body as it does.

Depending on how and why it happens, hemiplegia may be treatable. In some cases, no treatment is necessary, while others need immediate medical care to reverse the cause of the hemiplegia.


How is hemiplegia treated?

The treatments for hemiplegia depend on the underlying cause. Some of these conditions are treatable or even curable. Others may get better on their own. Unfortunately, many of these conditions cause permanent damage to parts of your nervous system, such as spinal cord or traumatic brain injuries. In these cases, the hemiplegia won’t go away, although it may improve to some degree.

Because there are so many different ways to treat hemiplegia that a healthcare provider is the best person to tell you more about the possible treatments in your situation. They can give you information that considers your specific condition, circumstances, health history and more.