Hemiparesis: muscle weakness on one side of the body.


Hemiparesis is partial weakness on one side of the body. It can affect both the left and the right side of the body. Weakness can affect the arms, hands , legs , face, or a combination of both. About 80% of stroke survivors experience hemiparesis, making it one of the most common consequences of stroke .

People with hemiparesis can move the affected side of the body, but with limited force. One side of the body can become completely weakened and this condition is called hemiplegia.

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The most obvious symptom of hemiparesis is partial paralysis of one side of the body. Symptoms correspond to the side of the brain or spine that has been damaged.

Trauma to the left side of the brain usually results in weakness on the right side of the body. Trauma to the right side of the brain usually results in weakness on the left side of the body.

Depending on the type of spinal injury and the severity of the spinal injury, hemiparesis can affect the same side of the body as the spinal injury or it can affect the opposite side.

Some of the symptoms of hemiparesis are as follows :

  • Inability to balance
  • Dificulty to walk
  • Inability to grasp objects.
  • Decreased precision of movement.
  • Muscular fatigue
  • Lack of coordination
  • Leaning to one side when standing, walking, or sitting
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control.


Besides stroke, hemiparesis can be due to other conditions. The most common causes of hemiparesis are as follows:

  • Career
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Traumatic injury: can affect the brain, spine, or nerves.
  • Congenital diseases such as cerebral palsy occur from birth.
  • Spinal disease
  • Brain or spinal cord tumor
  • Infection of the brain, spine, or meninges.
  • Psychological and mental disorders (can cause temporary weakness)
  • Postictal paralysis : temporary weakness after a seizure.
  • Inflammatory and autoimmune conditions.


If you complain of any of the symptoms of hemiparesis, your healthcare provider will perform a physical exam. It can be difficult to know if your symptoms are the result of weakness, pain, or another cause.

The physical exam includes evaluating your reflexes, sensation, and strength. Your healthcare provider will rate your strength on a scale of 1 to 5. This rating can also help when the same healthcare provider or other healthcare providers assess your strength later as it can be used for comparison.

Muscle strength scale

The scale for evaluating muscle strength is as follows:

  • 0/5: no movement
  • 1/5: mild muscle spasms
  • 2/5: Swing from side to side, but don't lift an arm or leg against gravity.
  • 3/5: Can move against gravity, but not against any force, such as a slight push from the examiner.
  • 4/5: Can move against a force, such as a push from the examiner, but not with the expected normal force.
  • 5/5: Can move against force with expected force

Diagnosis of the cause of hemiparesis can also be confirmed by imaging tests, which may include the following:

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The treatment of hemiparesis is mainly aimed at the specific treatment of the cause, be it stroke, brain tumor, or infection, etc. The goal of long-term treatment for hemiparesis is to strengthen motor skills and coordination, as well as improve your ability. to manage daily activities.


Physical therapy and occupational therapy are important for the treatment of hemiparesis. Therapy may include the use of electrical brain stimulation, imaging, and the use of assistive devices such as a cane, walker, or wheelchair.

Changes in the home may be necessary to accommodate and help increase mobility. Some of the modifications may include:

  • Railing
  • Ramps
  • Raised toilet seats
  • Bench in a tub
  • Anti-slip adhesive tapes in the bathroom
  • Electric toothbrushes
  • Razors

Fortunately, hemiparesis is not a progressive disease unless there are signs of an aggressive growing brain tumor.

Get the word of drug information

Hemiparesis is a common manifestation of neurological disease. Hemiparesis, which most often affects the arms, legs, or both, makes it difficult to maintain normal levels of independent daily activities and is a leading cause of disability.

Stroke is the most common cause of hemiparesis, so preventing stroke is an important part of a healthy lifestyle that everyone should know about.

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