What is paralysis?

Paralysis is a condition marked by a loss of muscle function. People with paralysis are unable to a move certain part of their body. Paralysis can be localized or generalized, partial or complete, and temporary or permanent. Sometimes, it may come together with loss of feeling and other bodily functions.

What are the types of paralysis?

There are different types of paralysis classified by:


  • Localised: the paralysis affects a specific section of the body.
  • Generalised: the paralysis affects a larger area of the body with multiple parts. There are many types of generalised paralysis, include:
  • Monoplegia: one limb is paralysed
  • Hemiplegia: the arm and leg on one side of the body are affected
  • Paraplegia: both legs are paralysed. Sometimes, the affected areas include the pelvis and some parts of the lower body
  • Tetraplegia: both the arms and legs are paralysed (also referred to as quadriplegia)


  • Partial paralysis: the patients still have some control over the muscles in the affected parts
  • Complete paralysis: the patients have no control over the muscles in the affected parts


  • Temporary paralysis: the patients may regain some or all of the feeling and coordination.
  • Permanent paralysis: the paralysis would remains forever.

Flaccid or spastic

  • Flaccid paralysis: the affected muscles shrink and get flabby, causing muscle weakness
  • Spastic paralysis: the affected muscles become tight and hard, leading to muscle twitching, or spasm.

What causes paralysis?

Some people are born with paralysis while others develop this condition because of  an accident or a medical condition.

Some most common causes of paralysis include:

  • Stroke
  • Injury to the head
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Multiple sclerosis

Other causes of paralysis can be:

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Post-polio syndrome
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Neurofibromatosis
  • Birth defects

Treatment for paralysis?

At the moment, there is no cure for paralysis. Only some certain conditions can be cured. For permanent paralysis, treatment is aimed to:

  • Help the patient lead thair life as independently as possible
  • Deal with any associated complications that may result from paralysis. For example, people may have pressure ulcers
  • Control bladder and bowel problems due to paralysis
  • Treat spasms and complications caused by paralysis

Treatments vary depending on the underlying cause of the paralysis, as well as the symptoms. For instance, the doctor may prescribe:

  • Surgery or possible amputation
  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Mobility aids and devices (wheelchairs, braces, mobile scooters,etc)
  • Medications

In some cases, paralysis isn’t curable. However, the doctors can also suggest a range of treatments, tools, or strategies to help patients manage their symptoms or improve their life quality.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

You might also like