What Does Weakness on One Side of the Body Mean?

July 9, 2015
weakness ipsilateral

Muscle weakness can be a sign of several different health issues. With that said, experiencing weakness on one side of your body can be alarming and may indicate a serious underlying medical issue requiring emergency attention. Understanding when and where to seek medical care is crucial for timely diagnosis and treatment. If you’re experiencing this condition, you should seek treatment for weakness on one side of the body as soon as possible.

One-Sided Body Weakness Causes

Weakness on one side of the body can stem from a variety of causes; however, if it comes on suddenly, you should seek emergency medical attention right away. This could be a sign of stroke, and over two-thirds of stroke survivors experience some type of disability—so it's important that you act quickly to minimize these negative effects.

While one-sided body weakness is certainly always a cause for concern, it isn’t always caused by a life-threatening condition. Sometimes, weakness can be attributed to other factors, including:

  • Metabolic causes
  • Low sodium or potassium
  • Hyperparathyroidism
  • Thyrotoxicosis
  • Addison's disease
  • Neurological concerns
  • Pinched nerves
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Guillain-Barre syndrome
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Bell's palsy
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Muscle diseases
  • Myotonic dystrophy
  • Dermatomyositis
  • Becker muscular dystrophy

Know Where to Go

When faced with one-sided body weakness, it's essential that you understand the severity of your symptoms and where to seek appropriate care. Sudden weakness on one side of the body can be indicative of a serious medical emergency that requires immediate attention. However, not all instances of one-sided weakness warrant a trip to the emergency room. Understanding the level of urgency and choosing the right healthcare provider can ensure you receive timely and effective treatment. You may choose to visit a(n):

  • Emergency Room (ER) – If you experience sudden weakness on one side of your body along with other concerning body weakness emergency room symptoms such as slurred speech, confusion, facial drooping, or difficulty walking, you should seek immediate medical attention at your nearest emergency room. These symptoms may indicate a stroke or another serious neurological condition that requires urgent evaluation and treatment.
  • Urgent Care Center – If your one-sided weakness is not accompanied by severe symptoms but still causes concern, consider visiting an urgent care center like PhysicianOne Urgent Care. We have locations across Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York, and we offer prompt and high-quality medical services to address your concerns. Our experienced practitioners provide urgent care for weakness on one side of the body and can assess your condition, perform necessary tests, and provide appropriate treatment or referrals. Urgent care is suitable for non-life-threatening conditions that require prompt attention.
  • Primary Care Physician (PCP) – For mild or chronic cases of one-sided weakness without acute symptoms, you can likely schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. Your PCP can evaluate your condition, conduct further assessments if needed, and develop a long-term management plan tailored to your health needs.

Why Choose PhysicianOne?

At PhysicianOne Urgent Care, we provide prompt and comprehensive urgent care for weakness on one side of the body. Here's why you should turn to us for medical assistance:

  • Convenience – We’re open 365 days per year with extended hours and offer convenient walk-in availability to make it easy for you to receive timely medical attention without the need for an appointment.
  • Expert providers – Our team of skilled clinicians has extensive experience in evaluating and treating various medical conditions, including one-sided body weakness.
  • Advanced diagnostic capabilities – We offer on-site diagnostic services, including imaging and laboratory testing, to quickly assess your condition and develop an appropriate treatment plan.
  • Collaborative approach – If further evaluation or specialty care is needed, we can facilitate referrals to specialists and coordinate your ongoing care to ensure continuity and optimal health outcomes.

If you or a loved one are experiencing weakness on one side of the body, don't delay seeking medical attention. Visit PhysicianOne Urgent Care for prompt evaluation and personalized care tailored to your needs. We accept most major health insurance plans and offer affordable self-pay rates for those without insurance. 

Mother and daughter happy at the beach
Throughout the visit I felt like the staff really cared. The doctor took his time talking with me about my symptoms, and I felt like he listened to all my concerns and took that into consideration when recommending the right treatment. Thank you!
Hamden, CT
  • 5.0
  • 4.6