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Mobility problems: what are they and how should we respond?

Mobility problems: what are they and how should we respond?

For many people, it’s hard to understand just how difficult and frustrating it can be to live with mobility problems. These issues can make everyday tasks that should be simple, like stepping into the shower, climbing stairs or putting on a pair of socks, a major challenge. But what exactly are mobility problems, and how should we respond to them?

A full spectrum

There is a full spectrum of mobility impairments that affect individuals across the globe, ranging from mild health issues that impact on stamina to partial and complete paralysis. Some of these issues are caused by or are present at birth, while others are the result of injuries or illnesses that occur later in life.

Arthritis is a particularly common problem. In fact, in the UK right now, around 10 million people are thought to be suffering from this condition. Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints that can cause swelling, pain and difficulties with mobility. Although it’s more common in older people, it can affect individuals of all ages. In the most severe cases, it can lead to the total loss of functional movement in the affected areas.

Cerebral palsy can also limit people’s ability to move. This medical issue affects the parts of the brain that are responsible for muscle control and it can occur if the brain is damaged in childbirth or if it develops abnormally. Other health complaints that can impact on mobility include muscular dystrophy, ataxia and multiple sclerosis. These conditions cause the degeneration and atrophy of nerve tissues or muscle.

No discussion of mobility issues is complete without mentioning back problems. Most people experience pain in their backs at some point in their lives, and complications in this part of the body can include herniated discs, scoliosis and degenerative disc disease. Meanwhile, serious injuries to the spinal cord can result in partial or total paralysis.

The ageing process, poor posture and general sprains, strains and other injuries can also limit people’s ability to move around.

Simple ways to increase independence

Whatever their cause, mobility problems can make everyday life difficult. If you or a loved one suffers from any of the issues mentioned above, or another medical complaint that limits mobility, you’ll know just how tough they can be to deal with.

However, thanks to advances in medical science and engineering, there are now a range of solutions on offer that can make it easier to cope with the challenges that these health problems pose. You can access everything from wheelchairs and scooters to stairlifts, slip resistant mats, walk-in showers and grab rails. Adjustable chairs and beds can prove useful too. These furnishings make it easier for people to get in and out of their sitting and sleeping positions, and ones with in-built massage functions can help to reduce pain and increase mobility.

Living with restricted mobility may never be easy, but by taking advantage of innovative solutions like these, you can take some of the hassle and stress out of many day-to-day tasks.