The normal, smooth movements of the human musculoskeletal system are something people take for granted. However, a number of disorders can occur that interfere with this movement. These medical problems can often have a severe impact on normal mobility and can prevent the ability to move freely, to work or to enjoy recreational activities. Movement disorders can make everyday living more difficult and can interfere with normal mobility. However, a number of medications and treatments are available to help individuals with movement disorders manage their condition to allow them to participate comfortably in everyday life. Research continues on a number of these health problems, to provide workable solutions to help individuals live more effectively. Here are a few common movement disorders that can hamper mobility.
The name “tardive dyskinesia” means “delayed impaired movement.” It is a neurological problem that often occurs as a result of taking certain types of medication. In this condition, the individual experiences uncontrolled jerking movements of the face, limbs, fingers, toes or torso. Facial grimaces, excessive blinking, lip smacking or difficulty with speech may occur. Some patients also experience difficulty with breathing. The unexpected movements can cause difficulty with walking and other mobility tasks.
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive nervous system disorder that causes slowed movement, rigid muscles, tremor, impaired balance and speech changes. Heredity, age and exposure to toxic substances can cause this condition. Symptoms become gradually worse over time. Medications and surgical procedures are used to reduce the symptoms of Parkinson’s.
Multiple sclerosis is a progressive disorder of the nervous system that occurs when the fatty material that surrounds nerves, the myelin, degenerates, affecting the ability to transmit neurochemical impulses. Individuals may experience tingling in the limbs, weakness in the muscles, unsteadiness and fatigue. Balance and coordination are often affected. These problems can limit the person’s ability to walk and to perform other daily tasks. A number of treatments are available to help manage symptoms and improve quality of life.
Huntington’s disease is a condition in which the nerve cells in the brain begin to degenerate. It is a progressive condition that becomes gradually worse over time. Huntington’s causes a number of problems with movement, speech and thinking. Psychiatric problems can also occur. Tremors and seizures may also occur in this condition. Individuals with Huntington’s may experience writhing or jerking of the body, muscle rigidity, impaired posture and balance, and problems with walking. Medications and therapy can help to reduce symptoms.
A neurological condition called “essential tremor” can occur that results in the disruption of the individual’s sense of balance and gait, making walking difficult, or sometimes, impossible. The tremor can be so constant or severe that it makes normal mobility difficult or even hazardous. Some types of tremors can be controlled with a number of different medications.
Many people may be familiar with Tourette’s syndrome as a speech disorder, but the condition also has effects on movement. Sudden, uncontrollable muscle movements, such as strong eye blinking, shrugging of shoulders or head jerking can occur. The muscle movements may repeat frequently, affecting the ability to walk normally or perform tasks. The muscle tics often get worse when the individual is under stress.
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