Top Causes of Disability
February 15, 2013
By Michael Pines
Most people are surprised to learn the chances of becoming disabled are about 1 in 3. That means an estimated 33 percent of the population will become disabled at some point in their lives. Since disability can happen to anyone, it’s never been more important to stay safe at your home and workplace. Although disability is not entirely preventable, you can take a proactive approach in reducing your personal risk of injury -- here’s how.
Leading Causes of Disability
The leading causes of disability may surprise you. Because many of our daily activities involve repetition or unsafe workplace conditions, disabilities can arise out of years of chronic movement. On the other hand, accidents can also lead to severe injury including permanent disability
Arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions can lead to permanent disability later on in life. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly one-third of the population suffers from muscle and joint problems, namely those that arise out of the workplace.
To prevent arthritis, it’s important to:
- Work at an ergonomic station
- Take plenty of breaks when seated at a computer
- Stay active and get plenty of exercise
- Drink water to hydrate your joints
- Use a “48/12” work/break concept when working at a desk or other office environment. Dedicate 48 minutes of continual work, then allocate 12 minutes of break time to stretch and move your body to avoid repetitive tasks that can lead to arthritis.
Stroke & Heart Disease
Seventeen percent of all health costs in the United States are attributed to stroke and heart disease conditions. When it comes to staying healthy and preventing heart conditions and the chances of stroke:
- Stop smoking - If you can't, vape instead. It's a healthier alternative than smoking.
- Stay active
- Know your blood pressure
- Work with a health care professional to understand your own unique heart health needs
- Control your weight
- Manage your diabetes actively
Mental Health Problems
The mind is arguably just as fragile as other systems in the body. When the mind is greatly affected, such as the mental trauma endured after a severe accident, disability can transcend into the physical sense since work cannot be completed. A mental health professional can work with you to overcome issues related to depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder and other mental health conditions that can become a serious issue if left untreated.
Bodily Disorders or Conditions
Disorders like diabetes and nervous system conditions like multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease or epilepsy can lead to permanent disability. These conditions are often difficult to treat since they can progress quickly depending on the individual. If you are affected by any of these conditions, it’s important to seek medical guidance for your condition including medication therapy to control the progression of the disease if possible.
Accidents account for less than 10 percent of all disability cases, but many accidents such as car collisions can result in some of the most severe disabilities of its kind including paralyzation, loss of limbs, and traumatic brain injury. To reduce your personal risk of disability when it comes to car accidents:
- Always wear your seatbelt
- Do not use personal electronic devices while driving
- Never text and drive
- Always maintain a distraction-free car environment
- Avoid driving in inclement weather
- Keep your vehicle well-maintained
- Pull over safely and use shoulders or rest stops to make emergency stops
About Michael Pines
Michael Pines is a personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of Michael Pines, APC in San Diego, California. He is an accident and injury prevention expert, on a campaign to end senseless injury one article at a time.