Skip navigation
   Other Topics: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W XYZ All Topics

Paralysis

Also called: Hemiplegia, Palsy, Paraplegia, Quadriplegia 
 
 

Paralysis is the loss of muscle function in part of your body. It happens when something goes wrong with the way messages pass between your brain and muscles. Paralysis can be complete or partial. It can occur on one or both sides of your body. It can also occur in just one area, or it can be widespread. Paralysis of the lower half of your body, including both legs, is called paraplegia. Paralysis of the arms and legs is quadriplegia.

Most paralysis is due to strokes or injuries such as spinal cord injury or a broken neck. Other causes of paralysis include

Polio used to be a cause of paralysis, but polio no longer occurs in the U.S.

 

 

 
 
Basics Learn More Multimedia & Cool Tools
  • No links available

 

 
Research Reference Shelf For You

 

 

Photograph of a senior man in physical therapy

National Institutes of Health

 

  • MedlinePlus links to health information from the National Institutes of Health and other federal government agencies. MedlinePlus also links to health information from non-government Web sites. See our disclaimer about external links and our quality guidelines.

 

 

 

MedlinePlus links to health information from the National Institutes of Health and other federal government agencies. MedlinePlus also links to health information from non-government Web sites. See our disclaimer about external links and our quality guidelines.