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5 Most Common Causes of Permanent Disability



Disability has gotten a lot of discussion these days, with many people worried about their financial security as well as welfare reform. The bottom line is that no one wants to be in such a state of dependency and suffering. A common assumption is that people who are permanently disabled were involved in some accidents: unsafe working conditions, motor vehicle crash, or chemical exposure.

However, it turns out that most people who claim permanent disability were not involved in any of these circumstances. Here are the top five reasons people become permanently disabled:

Musculoskeletal Disorders

While there are over two hundred musculoskeletal disorders, many of which cause permanent disability, the most common is arthritis. Arthritis is typically defined as inflammation of the joints, but can sometimes include rheumatism, which is pain and aches around the joints. Both cases can result in loss of mobility.

Heart Disease

Heart failure tops the list of diseases plaguing Britain today. After a heart attack, the heart does not fully recover, and simple tasks become akin to marathons for survivors. High blood pressure, even when it has not caused a heart attack, can also lead to heart failure. Loss of strength and energy can severely limit the mobility of those with heart disease.


Cancer occurs when cells in one part of the body grow and multiply uncontrollably. These cells take over and destroy the surrounding healthy tissue and organs. While cancer itself can cause decreased quality of life, conventional treatments require vast amounts of energy. Patients receiving chemotherapy or radiation often experience severe fatigue and discomfort.


Not only can diabetes lead to severe complications, people with diabetes are twice as likely to experience limited mobility. Diabetes can affect internal organs, especially the kidneys. It can also lead to painful skin irritations and numbness of feet if not treated properly.

Nervous System Disorders

The nervous system can be damaged in several ways and cause significant loss of mobility and independence. These include:

  • Vascular disorders: strokes and hemorrhaging
  • Degeneration: Parkinson’s, M.S., Alzheimer’s
  • Infections: meningitis, encephalitis
  • Structural disorders: carpal tunnel syndrome, brain or spinal cord injury
  • Functional disorders: epilepsy, migraines

Many of these disorders not only cause pain, but some are accompanied by cognitive loss, loss of coordination, and depression. What do all of these conditions have in common? They can all be prevented. There are plenty of steps that you can take to live a healthier lifestyle and enjoy mobility and an increased quality of life. Start with a walk around the park or an extra plate of greens. Invest in your health today.