What is a Physical Condition?

AccessAbility Services What is a Physical Condition?

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Students with a Physical Condition - Guide for Staff


Did you know? In Australia more than 10,00 people are living with a spinal cord injury

A physical condition is defined as a dysfunction of the musculoskeletal and/or neurological body which affects the functional ability of a student to move or coordinate movement.
Physical conditions can be permanent, temporary or intermittent.


There is a wide range of conditions that may result in physical impairment. Some of these include:

  • Partial or total paralysis
  • Congenital malformation of the limbs
  • Amputation
  • Spinal Cord Injury

A spinal cord injury usually begins with a sudden, traumatic blow to the spine that fractures or dislocates vertebrae. The extent of the physical impairment will depend on the site of injury.

Picture of spinal cord inury Hemiplegia, paraplegia and quadriplegia

Adapted from:

  • Muscular Dystrophy

Muscular Dystrophy is an inherited condition which causes progressive degeneration of the muscles

Discription of Muscular Dystrophy and its effects Effects include: Shoulders and arms are held back awkardly when walking sway back weak butt muscles thick lower leg muscles (mostly fat and not strong) weak front leg muscles poor balance belly sticks out

Adapted from: http://www.msmdhelp.com/overview.html

  • Arthritis

There are many forms of Arthritis such as Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis. Arthritis is most commonly characterised by joint inflammation and degeneration.

Arthritis can occur in the spine, knee, foot, hand and hip

Picture of how arthritis looks in the joints.

Adapted from: http://www.virtua.org/adam/Health%20Illustrated%20Encyclopedia/1/000431.htm


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