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How Chronic Disabilities Affect Your Driving & How We Can Help

Car accidents can cause someone to develop chronic disabilities. In turn, these chronic disabilities can lead to car accidents. It’s a vicious cycle that many people struggle with, but we’re here to help! Find out how chronic disabilities can affect your ability to drive and what the kind professionals at Impact Medical Sarasota can do for you.

Types of Chronic Disabilities

Neurological Diseases

The most dangerous impairments when it comes to driving are those that involve the brain. There are many factors to consider during every drive and so your ability to think quickly on the spot is essential to your overall safety. Knowing where to turn, when it’s safe to change lanes, and which instruments to use for each action are all regular thoughts that occur during every drive that many people take for granted. However, neurological diseases can make these basic actions nearly impossible.

Neurological diseases can affect:

  • Cognitive function
  • Hand-eye coordination
  • Real-time decision-making
  • Memory recollection
  • Sense of direction

Muscle and Joint Functions

You may not realize just how much strength is needed to grasp and turn the steering wheel, but those who suffer from muscle and joint problems can have difficulties performing this otherwise simple task. Both decreased muscle strength and lack of muscle control can be extremely dangerous because you could lose control of the steering wheel and cause an unfortunate accident.

Muscular dystrophy is a tragic disease that can greatly determine your ability (or inability) to drive. This gradual and continuous weakness and deterioration of muscle mass can make it impossible for victims to drive.

Neck and Back Pain

Sore or sharp pain through the upper and middle back can be very distracting during drives, especially during elongated road trips. Pain in the neck can be even more debilitating with difficulty turning the head to survey the surrounding environment. In this case, accommodating larger-than-average mirrors could help but it still doesn’t quite solve the issue.


It goes without saying that arthritis can have an immense impact on your grip strength. Many people correlate this disease to computer usage, video game activity, writing by hand, and knitting or crocheting. However, prolonged or excessive driving can also be a triggering factor. Even attempting to grab the steering wheel can be incredibly painful to those with arthritis.

How Physical Therapy Can Help

Driving with chronic disabilities may require you to follow certain restrictions such as refraining from traveling at night, taking medications regularly, or utilizing specialized equipment. Depending on the severity of your condition, healing through physical therapy is always an option even if it’s just to lessen the pain.

Attending regular therapy sessions can improve:

  • Muscle strength
  • Range of motion
  • Motor skills
  • Pain threshold
  • Overall mood
  • Posture

The Best Place to Go for Physical Therapy

The sooner you begin physical therapy, the better. Symptoms can get worse no matter how long ago the signs started to show, so today is a better day than any! Get an examination done for a personalized physical therapy plan by calling Impact Medical Sarasota today at 941-269-2183 to schedule a free consultation.