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What Causes Numbness on the Right Side?

Numbness on the right side of the body may indicate a serious condition.
Multiple sclerosis can cause numbness in parts of the body, including the right side.
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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 16 October 2014
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There are many different issues that may cause numbness on the right side of the body. One of the most common causes is a stroke. Multiple sclerosis is another condition that may cause numbness, and palsies may be at fault as well. Numbness on one side of the body can be a sign of a serious problem, and an individual who has this problem may do well to seek the help of a medical professional.

A stroke is one of the many conditions that may lead to numbness on the right side of the body. An individual has a stroke when blood flow to the brain is blocked or impaired. In such a case, the brain suffers from a deprivation of both oxygen and nourishment, and brain cells may die as a result. Numbness caused by a stroke can affect either side of the body, depending on where in the brain the stroke occurs. Other symptoms include trouble balancing and walking, speech problems, confusion, visual problems, and headaches.

Multiple sclerosis is an inflammatory condition that affects a patient’s brain and spinal cord and is often debilitating. Numbness that affects one side of the body may occur as a symptom of this condition. Other symptoms may include weakness of one side or part of the body, vision problems, tingling sensations, and tremors. A person may also experience tremors and extreme fatigue as symptoms of multiple sclerosis.

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An individual also may experience numbness on the right side of the body because of a palsy. A palsy is a condition marked by weakness, numbness, or paralysis of a part of the body. For example, a person may develop Bell’s palsy that affects the right side of his face. In addition to numbness, a person with this condition may experience drooping of the face, pain in the jaw, pain behind the ear, headaches, and changes in taste. Often, a person with this condition will also experience changes in tear and saliva production.

Numbness on either side of the body may be a sign of a serious condition. In fact, it may even accompany a life-threatening medical problem. For this reason, a person with this symptom may benefit from the advice and evaluation of a medical professional.

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Discuss this Article

anon944002
Post 10

I have numbness in the right side. I smile and my right side does not smile back. I have been to the hospital and they told me it was not a stroke. I am seeing a neurologist and she scheduled me for an emg test. I am scared. What should I do?

anon294801
Post 9

I am 26 weeks pregnant. Is it normal to have numbness on the right side of my body?

anon285634
Post 8

My sister has numbness and tingling on her right side, face, ear, tongue, arm and leg. She had a headache and her jaw was hurting first. What can this be?

amysamp
Post 7

@Tomislav - I learned about this when I was in speech therapy school, I thought it was so interesting that our body's brains were cross wired to control opposite sides. So the right side of the brain controls the left side of the body and the left side of the brain controls the right side of the body.

The interesting thing about the left side of your brain is that it houses the language center of your brain, which is why when your right side goes numb secondary to a stroke you also might have speech problems because the stroke has also hit the language center.

I was trying to remember what the other causes of numbness in the right side of the face and this article was the perfect refresher.

Tomislav
Post 6

Someone once told me that numbness in the right side of the body if due to a stroke actually means the stroke occurred in the left side of the brain secondary to the left side of the brain controlling the right side of the body.

Is this true or an old wives tale?

kylee07drg
Post 5

My friend developed multiple sclerosis, and when he first got diagnosed with it, he had just developed weakness on his right side and tingling in his right arm. He had gone to the doctor to make sure he had not had a stroke, but this news was even worse.

He began to develop severe tremors. He had trouble sleeping, because he would often jerk himself awake involuntarily. His eyes darted around without his permission, and he became so very tired.

He told me that one of the most frustrating aspects of his illness was the numbness in his right hand. He had difficulty writing and playing the piano, which were two of the few pleasures he had left.

Oceana
Post 4

My grandmother got Bell’s palsy, and it scared me and my sister to death. She woke up from a nap one day while we were staying at her house, and she came in the room looking like a monster.

We were only five and seven then, so we did not understand why the right side of her face looked like it was falling off. We called our mother crying, and she came and took her to the hospital. The doctor told her the condition would go away on its own.

She could not feel the right side of her face, which made eating and drinking difficult during the month the condition persisted. She also had to be really careful when chewing, because she would not realize it if she bit the inside of her right cheek until she tasted blood.

orangey03
Post 3

My aunt suffered a stroke. Her uncaring husband refused to take her to the hospital. He said they couldn’t afford it. So, she ended up driving herself.

She first noticed that the right side of her face had started drooping. By the time she made it to the hospital, she was having trouble moving her right arm and leg, and her speech had been affected. It’s a miracle that she drove that far and made it alright.

Today, the mobility of the right side of her body has improved, though it is still slightly less than her left side. She never recovered the ability to speak, and it’s likely she never will.

elizabeth23
Post 2

@Denha- I have a distant cousin who had a stroke awhile ago. I wish she had told people her symptoms, but she didn't when they happened -- she needed a lot of therapy and her memory will probably never fully return.

Denha
Post 1

Several years ago, my great aunt had a stroke. No one was with her at the time, but numbness and confusion were they ways her daughters figured out what had actually happened- and got her to the doctor in time to avoid too much damage. Sometimes when people of all ages have strokes, they black out and don't even realized it happened, sort of like some seizures. But if you have numbness, it is something you need to see a physician about right away.

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