Common Causes of Paralysis

Our vans are used by all sorts of wonderful people.  We love to talk with them and find out their individual stories.  Everyone’s is different.

But as different as our customers and their stories are from one another, there is one trait that most of them share.  Most of our customers use a wheelchair to get around.  And many of them use a wheelchair because of paralysis.

Paralysis comes in many forms and is caused by many different situations.  To help bring understanding and awareness, we thought we would share some of the most common causes of paralysis in the world today.

But first, let’s get a clear understanding of what paralysis is.

Defining Paralysis

Paralysis is a loss of muscle function typically caused by nerve damage.  Though paralysis can happen in any muscle, most people who use wheelchairs have paralysis in their legs (often in addition to paralysis in other muscles).

If a person has paralysis in both of their legs, they are considered to be paraplegic.  They all four limbs are affected, than the term quadriplegia is used.

Common Causes of Paralysis

Spinal Injury

The spinal cord is an amazing and complex piece of the body.  Because it helps to connect all of the muscles with the brain, it is also very sensitive.   Even the slightest damage to the spinal cord can have severe consequences.

The higher the injury is on the spine, the worse it tends to be.  An injury at the top of the neck/spine tends to result in full quadriplegia.

Head Injury

You brain is the control center of your body.  If it becomes damaged, there’s a good chance you’ll lose control over certain functions.  Blunt force trauma to the head can sometimes result in paralysis.

A severe stroke can also cause brain damage that results in paralysis.

Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (or MS) is an inflammatory disease caused by damaged nerve cells in the spine or brain.  The severity of the condition differs from person to person.  Most will deal with some amount of paralysis and loss of balance.

About 25{4484a610ba12ad46baec767347073917e486819a83b2d744ced0feda89144e79} of people with MS will end up needing a wheelchair.

Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is a condition that develops at or shortly after birth.  While cerebral palsy often doesn’t cause full paralysis or loss of limb movement, it does typically limit muscle control in certain areas of the body.

It is nearly impossible do develop cerebral palsy outside of childhood.

Muscular Dystrophy

Muscular dystrophy is a group of conditions that result in muscular degeneration.  The specifics of the condition vary from type to type, but all of them involve muscles weakening over time.

For some, this process happens very slowly, affecting their life minimally.  For others, the results are much more severe, as they are no longer able to move much of their body.

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

ALS is similar to muscular dystrophy in that it involves the weakening of muscles and loss of movement.  About 75{4484a610ba12ad46baec767347073917e486819a83b2d744ced0feda89144e79} of people who develop ALS experience weakness in their arms or legs first.

While ALS is not always fatal, it typically results in paralysis.

Want to Know More? Want to Get Involved?

To help raise awareness for these different causes of paralysis, Rollx Vans, lead distributer of handicapped vans, partners with a number of organizations.  Our partners are all geared towards a specific cause or condition.  Their goals are to share news, raise funds, and bring hope.

If you would like to know more about a specific condition or would like to join the fight against it, please visit our Partners page here.  There, you will find links to their websites.

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