The key difference between hemiplegia and hemiparesis is that in hemiplegia, complete loss of strength on one side of the body happens, while in hemiparesis, mild or partial loss of strength on one side of the body happens.
Hemiplegia and hemiparesis are two types of paralysis of the body. Paralysis is the loss of muscle work in a part of the body. It normally happens when the way messages pass between the brain and muscles go wrong. Paralysis is divided into complete and partial. It can happen on both sides or on one side of the body. Most paralysis is due to strokes, injuries such as spinal cord injury or a broken neck.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Hemiplegia
3. What is Hemiparesis
4. Similarities – Hemiplegia and Hemiparesis
5. Hemiplegia vs Hemiparesis in Tabular Form
6. Summary – Hemiplegia vs Hemiparesis
What is Hemiplegia?
Hemiplegia refers to the complete loss of strength or paralysis on one side of the body. This is a severe condition. The symptoms of hemiplegia are also more severe. The symptoms can include muscle weakness, stiffness of muscles on one side, permanently contracted muscles, poor balance, trouble in walking, poor fine motor skills, trouble in grabbing objects, etc. If hemiplegia is due to brain damage, it gives symptoms like memory problems, trouble concentrating, speech issues, behaviour changes, seizures.
This condition typically affects the left or right side of the body. It depends on which side of the brain is affected. Hemiplegia is commonly caused due to strokes, spinal cord injuries, brain infections, brain trauma, genetics, and brain tumours. If hemiplegia is caused before birth, during birth, or within the first two years of life, it is known as congenital hemiplegia. Children with hemiplegia may take a longer time to reach their developmental milestones. Furthermore, hemiplegia is divided into different types like facial hemiplegia, spinal hemiplegia, contralateral hemiplegia, spastic hemiplegia, and alternating hemiplegia of childhood.
Hemiplegia can be diagnosed through blood tests, CT scans, MRI scans, and electroencephalography. The treatment options for hemiplegia depend on the severity of the condition and the causes. The common treatments include physical therapy, occupational therapy, rehabilitation therapy, and mental health therapy. To speed up the recovery following treatment options such as modified constraint-induced movement therapy, electrical stimulation, mental imagery, and assistive devices, etc., can be used.
What is Hemiparesis?
Hemiparesis refers to the mild or partial loss of strength on one side of the body. It is also called unilateral paresis. Hemiparesis normally involves weakness or the inability to move on one side of the body. Therefore, one-sided weakness in the arms, hands, face, chest, legs, or feet can cause different symptoms. The symptoms include loss of balance, difficulty walking, impaired ability to grab things, decreasing movement precision, muscle weakness or fatigue, lack of coordination, etc.
The causes of hemiparesis include stroke, brain damage due to trauma or head injuries, and brain tumours. Certain diseases such as cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, and some cancers can also trigger this condition. Hemiparesis can be diagnosed through MRI and other diagnostic tests. The treatment options include physical therapy, occupational therapy, and rehabilitation programs.
What are the Similarities Between Hemiplegia and Hemiparesis?
- Hemiplegia and hemiparesis are two types of paralysis of the body.
- Both conditions affect the right or left side of the body.
- They have similar symptoms and similar diagnosis methods.
- Both conditions are treatable.
What is the Difference Between Hemiplegia and Hemiparesis?
Hemiplegia is a severe or complete loss of strength on one side of the body, while hemiparesis is a mild or partial loss of strength on one side of the body. So, this is the key difference between hemiplegia and hemiparesis.
The below infographic lists the differences between hemiplegia and hemiparesis in tabular form for side by side comparison.
Summary – Hemiplegia vs Hemiparesis
Paralysis occurs when people are unable to make voluntary muscle movements. Hemiplegia and hemiparesis are two types of paralysis of the body. Hemiplegia is a severe or complete loss of strength on one side of the body, while hemiparesis is a mild or partial loss of strength on one side of the body. Thus, this is the key difference between hemiplegia and hemiparesis.
1. “Hemiparesis.” Www.stroke.org.
1. “Treatment of hemiplegia Wellcome M0011329” By Welcome Image Gallery (CC BY 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “UOTW 57 – Ultrasound of the Week 3” By Ben Smith – UltraSound of the Week (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia