Right sided hemiplegia involves paralysis on the right side of the body. This limits a person’s ability to perform basic self-care tasks, especially since most people are right-side dominant.
Fortunately, there are rehabilitation methods that can help you regain movement on the right side. You’re about to discover them so that you can maximize your chances of recovery.
Causes of Right Sided Hemiplegia
First, let’s clarify the difference between hemiparesis and hemiplegia, as they are often confused.
Hemiparesis and hemiplegia are both conditions that affect movement. While hemiparesis involves weakness on half the body, hemiplegia involves paralysis on half of the body.
The causes of hemiplegia include neurological conditions such as:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Cerebral palsy
- Degenerative disorders like Parkinson’s
- Brain cancer or brain lesions
When the parts of the brain that control movement become compromised by any of these medical issues, it can impair your ability to move your muscles.
Each side of the brain controls movement on the opposite side of the body. When a neurological condition affects the left hemisphere, hemiparesis may occur on the right side of the body.
Right sided hemiplegia, specifically, is most often caused by a left hemisphere stroke.
While hemiplegia can affect either side of the body, this article will specifically focus on right sided hemiplegia.
Right sided hemiplegia involves paralysis on the right side of the body — often after a left hemisphere stroke.
Treatment of Paralysis on Right Side of Body
The treatment for right sided hemiplegia involves harnessing the brain’s natural ability to rewire itself and heal after injury.
This rewiring process is called neuroplasticity. Whatever you are repeatedly exposed to, or whatever you repeatedly practice, determines how neuroplasticity is activated.
For example, to learn a new language, you must practice speaking in that foreign language over and over. As a result, the brain rewires itself to grow and strengthen the neural connections that control language.
The same concept works for rehabilitation after right sided hemiplegia: practice moving to get better at movement.
Specifically, right sided hemiplegia patients should practice rehabilitation exercises that target the right side of the body. By stimulating the body with movement, you can help the brain rewire itself.
It takes high repetition and consistency to activate neuroplasticity. Therapists call this “massed practice.” By exercising your right side every day, you can create and strengthen new neural connections in the brain.
Just like learning a new language: changes don’t happen overnight. Don’t expect immediate results. Instead, keep working daily to stimulate the brain in appropriate ways.
At this point you might wonder how you can exercise if the right side of the body is paralyzed. We’ll discuss that next.
Treatment for right sided hemiplegia should involve rehabilitation exercises to help retrain the brain how to control your muscles on the right side.
How to Exercise with Right Sided Hemiplegia
To begin rehabilitation from right sided hemiplegia, start with passive exercise.
Passive exercise involves assisting your limbs through the movements. You can either use your left side to assist your right side, or you can enlist the help of a therapist/caregiver.
Although you aren’t “doing it yourself,” passive movement helps stimulate the brain and spark neuroplasticity. Results may come slowly, but don’t give up.
You can boost your chances of recovery by combining passive exercises with other therapies. For instance, electrical stimulation and mental practice are both proven to help with right sided hemiplegia recovery.
Also, high-tech rehab tools like Flint Rehab’s FitMi help you achieve the high repetition of exercise you need to recover. Many people have recovered from right sided hemiplegia by using the device.
For example, here’s John’s story of how he overcame right sided hemiplegia with FitMi:
Right Side Paralysis Recovery Time
If you are wondering how long it takes to recover movement after right sided hemiplegia, it’s tough to say.
Since every stroke is different, everyone recovers at different speeds. However, there are some documented stroke recovery timeline patterns worth noting.
Many stroke patients can walk after stroke (with or without assistance) by the 3-month mark. However, those with right sided hemiplegia might not recover as quickly.
Fortunately, one study found that 74% of stroke patients could walk without assistance by the 2-year mark. The study focused specifically on patients that could NOT walk by the 3-month mark.
This study shows that there’s hope for recovery after right sided hemiplegia – and that long-term rehabilitation is key to recovery.
While there’s no guarantee that everyone will recover from hemiplegia, there are many cases where patients beat the odds and regain more movement than doctors expected.
You’ll never know how close you can get to a full recovery from stroke unless you try.
Every stroke is different, so everyone recovers at different speeds. Long-term rehabilitation can help improve the odds of recovery.
Recovery from Right Sided Hemiplegia
Overall, there is hope for recovery from right sided hemiplegia thanks to neuroplasticity: the brain’s ability to rewire itself and regain lost skills.
Treatment should involve passive stroke rehabilitation exercises that target the right side of the body. Rehab technology like Flint Rehab’s FitMi can improve chances of recovery by motivating you to move.
There’s always hope for recovery when you put in the work day after day. Good luck!
Featured image: ©iStock.com/KatarzynaBialasiewicz