Motor disabilities are physical impairments that can impede movement, coordination, or sensation. They include weaknesses and lack of muscle control. Motor disabilities are a result of injuries to one or more of the most important parts of the body. There are two types of disabilities based on the kind of injury sustained by the body.
Traumatic injuries is an umbrella term used for all kinds of injuries that are sustained due to the presence of an external factor. Accidents, exertions, exhaustion, exposure to hazardous substances, etc. are external factors that lead to traumatic injuries.
Spinal Cord Injuries - Spinal cord injuries can turn into a state of paralysis of the limbs. Paralysis of the legs is called paraplegia whereas paralysis of the legs and arms is called quadriplegia. People with paraplegia have lesser immobility as compared to those with quadriplegia and they have to go through significant difficulties, depending on the type and severity of the injury. There are many people with quadriplegia who retain some kind of control of their hands, but not enough to do major work. Despite these limitations, individuals with quadriplegia are able to make use of technologies that assist them and allow them to cope up with daily life.
Loss or Damage of Limb – Accidents, sports, and other such incidents are some of the major reasons for the loss or damage of a limb. In majority of cases it is the arm that is damaged, and debilitating disabilities spring from the loss or impairment of the hand or the arm. For those who have injured their limbs, there are a lot of assistive technologies that help in living a balanced life.
Causes - Accidents of all forms such as car accidents, work accidents, sports accidents are some of the most common causes of traumatic injuries sustained in daily life. The spinal cord is a vulnerable part of the body and injuries to the cord not only result in paralysis but can also result in the loss of many other motor functions. The arm is the second most vulnerable to traumatic injuries as the bones and limbs in the arm are not as strong as those in the legs.
Symptoms - Excessive pain, loss of sensation, and zero ability to move the body are some of the first symptoms that the spine has been hurt or damaged. The loss of limb is very evident and does not require the noticing of special symptoms. Although, the tearing of a tendon, muscle, or the breaking of a bone can result in immediate swelling and excruciating pain while moving the limb.
There are a number of treatment options for traumatic injuries, depending on where and how grievous the injury is.
For people suffering from spinal cord injuries, the first solution is using a wheelchair. The choice of wheelchair should depend on the need of the patient and the injury that they have sustained.
It is not necessary that a person would need a wheelchair to move around as a simple cane or pair of crutches might help them move around. Many a time a doctor might recommend one to get a scooter to easy outdoor movement as well.
If the person has been affected by paralysis, then depending on the type of paralysis, assistive technologies need to be used to cope up while being treated and also during rehabilitation.
Loss of damage of limb might be a painful experience and so there are a number of things that can be done to alleviate the pain. Therapies such as hot and cold therapy, electro-therapy, magnetic therapy etc. Help in various ways to reduce the pain and hasten the healing process.
Congenital disorders are also known as by a primitive term called birth defects, but the phrase has not been in use in modern times. These disorders are present in the child before their birth and so are not the result of any causes or events that occur after the birth. The reason might be genetic, hereditary, or the result of some disease that the mother suffered from. For example, diabetes, and arthritis are things that can be transferred genetically into a child. Heart diseases might run in a family.
Cerebral Palsy–An injury to the brain, resulting in decreased muscle control is referred to as cerebral palsy. It usually occurs during fetal development, but can also occur at or shortly after birth.
Muscular Dystrophy or MD–This is a genetic disorder in which the genes for muscle proteins are damaged. The progressive degeneration of the muscles is one of the major characteristics. Muscular dystrophy affects people at any age, but is the most common among children. Mild MD affected adults can live a normal life span, while individuals with more serious cases have a short life span. The assistive technologies used by individuals with MD vary with the severity of the condition.
Multiple Sclerosis- The myelin which is a layer of fatty tissue which surrounds nerve fiberserodes, rendering the nerve fibers incapable of sending signals from the central nervous system to the muscles of the body. This condition is known as Multiple Sclerosis.
Spina Bifida- When the spine fails to close properly during the first month of pregnancy the condition is referred to as Spina Bifida. The membrane around the spinal column in this case, protrudes through the back, resulting in a visible bulge, or sac on the back of the individual.
Arthritis– It affects the elderly the most, but can occur in younger individuals as well. Many people with arthritis are able to perform day to day activities, but they do not always have the fine motor control sufficient to perform dexterous tasks. More often than not, people with arthritis do not use assistive technologies at all, but some with more advanced arthritis may have to use them.
Symptoms of each congenital disorder are similar but vary in degree and the sequence in which they occur.
Major characteristics of cerebral palsy include muscle tightness or spasm, involuntary movement, and impaired speech. Many of the cases lead to paralysis.
Muscle dystrophy can be evidently seen as the muscles are weak and there are a number of gross motor skill disabilities noticed in the person. They usually affect children.
Multiple sclerosis has a number of symptoms that include tremors, weakness, numbness, unstable walking, spasticity, slurred speech, muscle stiffness, or impaired memory.
Spina Bifida is one of the disorders that has a very evident bulge on the back that is the first symptom of this disorder. Many a time the spine itself protrudes from the sac. Paralysis is a common result of spina bifida.
Arthritis is one the most common problems to affect the old. Loss of limb strength and also the excessive pain due to overuse of limbs is the main symptom of arthritis.
Again a common disorder among the old people, Parkinson’s causes the loss of major motor abilities. Tremors and sudden spasms are common symptoms of the disorder.
There are very few treatment options when it comes to congenital disorders but there is an array of products that help coping up with the disorder.
For people who have problems in doing daily tasks there are a number of aids that help in a number of activities such as dining, reading, bathing, cooking, walking, sitting or standing for elongated periods, etc.
Weak muscles can causes simple problems such as holding or gripping things and many a time result in harming oneself. Things such as reachers or reaching aids are aptly designed to help the patient out.
The people that suffer from motor disabilities go through a lot of pain and trauma while treatment and later on as well. The right kind of treatment, help, and rehab can reduce the difficulty of getting through with a motor disability, no matter how temporary or permanent it is.
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Taikhum Sadiq has been a Health Products For You contributor since 2016.
He is an archaeology student and is passionate about learning about the past and how it impacts our future. He believes ...
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