Types of Paralysis

Within the complete versus incomplete learning portal, we discussed how the severity of spinal cord injury or type of disorder can affect whether signals can or cannot pass through a person’s level of injury. The severity of a person’s condition can impact a person’s functionality and sensation in different ways. This leads to the presence of many different types of paralysis across the world.

Here is a list of different types of paralysis that can occur:

  • Paraplegia: This refers to paralysis that occurs below the Cervical area of the neck

    (anywhere in the thoracic, lumbar and sacral areas) and is commonly referred to as being “paralyzed from the waist down.” Complete paraplegics have full upper body control.
  • Quadriplegia (tetraplegia): This refers to an injury that occurs in the Cervical area of the spinal column, and means that all four limbs are affected by paralysis. It does not mean that someone is paralyzed from the neck down, but in some cases, it can (depending on the level of injury). In Europe and other parts of the world, those with quadriplegia are known as having “tetraplegia.”
  • Hemiplegia: This refers to paralysis that is limited to one side of the body. This type of paralysis is usually present in those who have experienced a stroke. Hemiplegia is not caused by damage to the spinal cord, and is instead caused by damage to one side of the brain.
  • Monoplegia: This refers to paralysis that is present in just one limb, and can be caused by a variety of injuries, not simply through a spinal cord injury or brain injury.
  • Diplegia: This type of paralysis refers to paralysis that affects the same area on both sides of your body. For example, diplegia can be displayed in both arms, both legs, or on both sides of the face.
  • Locked-in syndrome: This refers to paralysis that is extremely rare. Locked-in syndrome is the most severe kind of paralysis. Under this condition, a person is unable to move any muscles in their body except for their eyes.


Spinal Cord Injury
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