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Physical Disability: Types and Causes

Physical Disability: Types and Causes 


The umbrella term “disabilities” generally includes impairments, activity restraints, and involvement limitations. Every year, 20% of people in the UK seek medical attention for a condition associated with one of the more than 200 musculoskeletal types.

There are marked differences between child and adult causes of disability. For children with disabilities, most impairments were present at birth. For adults, disease and illness was the main cause of impairment, followed by accident and injury.

An impairment is the term for the actual condition that someone has. Disabled people can have multiple impairments and these may have more than one cause, which is why the percentages on this graph add up to more than 100%.

What is a Physical Disability?

A physical disability is a substantial and long-term limitation affecting a person’s mobility, physical functioning, stamina or agility. It can limit the individual, either temporarily or permanently, by becoming disabled for a wide range of reasons, such as genetic disorder, injury or a specific condition.

Physical disability severely affects the capacity of a person to perform specific daily activities. These activities become more challenging and take longer to complete, such as carrying things and getting dressed.

Children and young people with physical disabilities may experience difficulty with accessing the physical environment, using equipment and facilities safely, participating in learning tasks and assessments, and performing practical tasks and activities. However, every individual is affected by their unique physical needs in a different way.

What Causes a Physical Disability?

Various causes of physical disabilities affect a person’s daily life differently. Physical disabilities may result from perinatal, acquired, or congenital factors.

1. Congenital Disability

People within the group of congenital physical disabilities, also known as hereditary, have had the condition since birth, which may include impairments that already have occurred while the baby was in the womb. Also, inherited genetic issues, injury during birth or issues with muscle cells can develop this condition.

2. Acquired Injury

A person may develop a physical disability for a variety of causes. These can result from severe accidents, brain injuries, infections, diseases, and other conditions, like dementia and a stroke.

3. Perinatal Causes

The period just before and following childbirth is known as the perinatal period. This era’s disabilities are primarily biological in nature. They may be brought on by preterm delivery, severe trauma, oxygen deprivation, or an infection picked up while being delivered through the birth canal.

Types of Physical Disability

Many physical disabilities, such as hearing loss, chronic fatigue, mobility impairment, chronic pain and seizures, can affect individuals.

Some main physical disability categories include:

a. Musculoskeletal Disability

The bones, muscles, and joints are all affected by this type of disability. It may result in limb loss or deformity, muscle weakness (Muscular Dystrophy), and osteogenesis imperfecta, which causes brittle bones. Back and neck pain, osteoarthritis, fractures brought on by brittle bones, and inflammatory disorders like rheumatoid arthritis are common forms of musculoskeletal disability.

b .Neuromusculoskeletal Disability

The neuromusculoskeletal condition makes the person unable to move the body parts affected and can also lead to nervous system disorders or degeneration. Stroke, cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury, motor neurone disease, spina bifida, head injury, poliomyelitis, and other conditions are examples of this type of disorder.

c. Sensory Impairment

Visual and hearing impairments fall under the category of sensory impairment. Once more, people may have experienced sensory impairments throughout their lives or may have grown blind or deaf in later life.

Common Physical Disabilities

What a physical disability may and does to a person has already been addressed. Here are some examples of physical disabilities. The most common physical limitations that harm the body and normal function are:

Treatment and Support for People with Physical Disabilities

Living with a physical disability or motor movement can be challenging. To keep independence and live well in the community, several disability support plans need to be placed. The physical disability’s severity will define the type of care you require. Some people may need to see their primary care physician or a specialist. In contrast, others may need a team of medical experts to handle various aspects of their care, such as physical, occupational, and speech therapists.

For example, if your child is identified as having spina bifida, they will be transferred to a specialised team for support. Doctors and specialists may create a care plan to address your child’s needs and difficulties. The care plan will be reviewed as your kid ages to account for changes in their needs and environment.

This birth condition, known as neural tube defect, is spina bifida (NTD). This folding of the embryo’s posterior side, which usually creates the vertebral column with its muscles, spinal cord, and spinal nerves, is abnormal.

Doctors can treat the many challenges of spina bifida in a variety of ways. Along with the initial spinal surgery, they may use physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and mobility aids.

  • People may have been born with a physical disability or may have developed one as an adult, for instance, as a result of a neurological disorder like multiple sclerosis or motor neurone disease. Physical impairments might also develop from traumatic events like spinal cord injuries or brain injuries like stroke.
  • Physical disabilities can be caused by congenital, acquired, or perinatal circumstances
  • People may be affected by various physical impairments, including hearing loss, chronic fatigue, impaired movement, chronic pain, seizures, cerebral palsy, spinal cord injuries, and muscular dystrophy affecting a person’s body function and mental health.
  • The complexity of your physical disability will determine the kind of care you need. Some patients may need to see a specialist or their primary care physician. Others, however, could require a group of medical professionals.
  • Contact Leaf Complex Care today, and let us take care of your loved ones.

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