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Hemiparesis

What is it? What do I need to know about it?


What is Hemiparesis?
Hemiparesis is weakness on one side of the
body
o Hemi means one side, and
Paresis means weakness
This weakness could occur in the leg, arm,
face, or on the entire left or right side of the
body

What Causes Hemiparesis?


Hemiparesis usually happens because of
another injury or condition such as:
o A stroke
o Brain tumor
o Cerebral Palsy
o Other brain injury or injury to the
spinal cord or to the nerves in your
body
Stroke is
the most
common
cause of
hemiparesis
80% of people who have a stroke will
have hemiparesis afterwards
Your doctor can help you determine if you
have hemiparesis and the cause

The location of your injury will impact


where you will have hemiparesis, or
weakness in the body
If you have an injury
on the left side of the
brain, you will most
likely feel weakness
on the right side of
the body
If you have an injury
on the right side of
the brain, you will
most likely feel
weakness on the left
side of the body

Hemiparesis can occur at any age,


depending on the cause of the original
injury or condition
Some causes cannot be prevented, but
the risk of having a stroke can be
reduced with healthy lifestyle choices
such as:
o Eating healthy
o Exercise
o Not smoking
o Limited alcohol intake
By reducing your risk of a stroke, you
may reduce your risk of having
hemiparesis

How could hemiparesis affect my


day-to-day life?
If you have hemiparesis, you may have
trouble doing everyday tasks that you
usually use both sides of the body to do.
These could include:
Walking or keeping your balance
Holding or picking up items
Bathing or showering
Getting dressed
Cooking & Eating
Doing other daily household chores
such as laundry, cleaning, yardwork
Taking care of your children or family
Working at a job outside of the home
Hobbies & leisure activities

Occupational Therapy Treatment for


Hemiparesis
Modifying the way to do something. For
example, doing a task using one hand:
o Getting in and out of bed
o Getting dressed
o Cooking

Teaching you how to incorporate your


weaker arm into daily activities to make it
stronger:
o Using your weaker arm to stabilize a
piece of paper while writing
o Weight bearing on your weaker
arm as it is resting on the table
or counter

Can it be Treated? How Is It Treated?


Full recovery is not always promised, but most
people with hemiparesis can gain back at least
some of their strength

Doctor
Will help you manage your
health during the recovery
period
Can refer you to a physical
therapist or to an
occupational therapist for further treatment

Physical Therapist (PT)

Will help improve your


ability to move your
weaker arm and leg
Will work to increase
your strength and
balance for walking and moving

Occupational Therapist (OT)

Will also help improve your ability to


move your weaker arm and leg
Will help increase your strength and
balance so that you can complete
daily tasks and activities
Will teach you modified ways to complete
your daily tasks or activities
Will help you get back to doing the things
you consider most important in your daily
life

Exercises to increase strength and


your ability to move your arm

Education on protecting the joints in your


weaker arm

Information obtained from:


Hemiparesis. (2016). Retrieved November 08, 2016, from http://www.stroke.org/we-can-help/survivors/stroke-recovery/post-strokeconditions/physical/hemiparesis; Kennedy, B., PhD, OTR/L, & Levit, K., PhD, OTR/L. (2013). Recovering from Stroke [Pamphlet]. The
American Occupational Therapy Association.; Muscle Weakness After Stroke: Hemiparesis [Pamphlet]. (n.d.). Centennial, CO: National
Stroke Association.; Pedretti, L. W., Pendleton, H. M., & Schultz-Krohn, W. (2013). Pedretti's occupational therapy: Practice skills for
physical dysfunction (7th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.; Reed, K. (2014). Hemiplegia/Hemiparesis in Stroke and Brain Injury. In Quick
Reference to Occupational Therapy (3rd ed., pp. 323-328). Austin, TX: PRO-ED.; Weiss, T. (2010, September 14). Hemiparesis - Facts
and Information. Retrieved November 08, 2016, from https://www.disabledworld.com/health/neurology/hemiparesis.php