Paralysis: Causes, Types, and Symptoms

Paralysis is a loss of muscle function in part of your body. It can be localized or generalized, incomplete or complete, and temporary or permanent. It can also appear in just one area, or it can be widespread. Paralysis can affect any part of your body at any time in your life. The term is originated from the Greek word that means disabling of the nerves.


There are numerous possible reasons that one may suffer temporary or permanent paralysis. It is usually because of damage to the spinal cord or other parts of the nervous system and linked with:

  • Stroke
  • Trauma
  • Poliomyelitis
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Peripheral Neuropathy
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Botulism
  • Spina bifida
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Guillain-Barré syndrome

Moreover, some medicines may affect the function of the nerves and in rare cases can cause paralysis.

What are the types of paralysis?

Doctors can classify paralysis in several different ways. The type of paralysis that patient experiences from will depend on the kind of injury or cause that led to the paralytic attack. Here are the various types of paralysis that affect most people:


It is the type of paralysis of a single area of the body, usually one limb. People with monoplegia usually hold control over the rest of their body, but cannot move or feel senses in the affected limb. This kind of paralysis takes place when the person suffers from a spinal injury in which there is some injury to some of the localized areas in the peripheral nervous system (the portion of the nervous system that contains the nerves that are outside the brain and spinal cord). Moreover, it could also happen from damage to connected components in the motor cortex (the part of the brain that is involved in the process of helping you plan, control and execute various voluntary movements). Monoplegia is sometimes a temporary disorder and is particularly prevalent in the result of a stroke or brain injury.


It is the kind of paralysis in which the person loses any form of sense and the capability for movement on only one side of the body. Therefore, there will be no sensation or ability of movement in that total area from the affected part down one whole side. This type of paralysis often happens when the individual undergoes from a stroke that affects one hemisphere in the brain.


This type of paralysis refers to paralysis below the waist and usually affects both legs, the hips, and other functions, such as sexuality and elimination. Though typecasts of paraplegia hold that people with this disorder cannot walk, move their legs, or feel anything beneath the waist, the truth of paraplegia differs from person to person and sometimes, from day to day. Spinal cord damages are the most common cause of paraplegia.


This type of paralysis is often referred to tetraplegia, a paralysis below the neck. In this kind of paralysis all four limbs of the patient, as well as the main body, is affected by paralysis. Occasionally, quadriplegia is a temporary illness due to brain damage (stroke), or injury, or compression of cervical spinal cord.

What are the symptoms of paralysis?

The symptoms of paralysis are generally easy to recognize. The key symptom of paralysis is the inability to move part of your body, or not being able to move at all. Sometimes, an itchy or numbing sensation can occur before total paralysis sets in. Moreover, paralysis will also make it tough or impossible for you to control muscles in the affected body parts. It can start abruptly or slowly. Sometimes it comes and goes. Paralysis can affect any part of the body, such as:

  • The face
  • The hands
  • One arm or leg
  • One side of the body
  • Both legs
  • Both arms and legs

Disclaimer: All material on is provided for informational purposes only and should not be taken as a substitute for professional medical or health advice. Always seek the advice of your physician for any questions regarding your symptoms or medical condition and before taking any home remedies or supplements.