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Locomotor Disability

As per India’s NSSO Survey on Disability 2002, 10.6 million people have locomotor disability. Some of the major causes include Polio, Injury, Stroke and Other Illness. Around 45 per cent of locomotor disability is attributed to deformity of limb. The other variations are, dysfunctional joints or limbs, paralysis, loss of limbs or any other bodily deformity.


The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 defines Locomotor Disability as a person’s inability toexecute distinctive activities associated with movement of self and objects resulting from affliction of musculoskeletal or nervous system or both, including

  • Leprosy Cured Person
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Dwarfism
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Acid Attack Victims


As per India’s National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) Survey on Disability 2002, about 45% of the locomotor disability was attributed to deformity of limb, more than 20% to dysfunction of joints of limb, another 15%to paralysis, 10% to any other deformity of body and 8% to loss of limbs.

PwD using walking aid with wheels | © gettyimages Locomotor Disability (gettyimages)


Locomotor disability can be classified as: congenital and acquired. The common causes of these two forms of affliction can be classified as: congenital and developmental.

  • Common examples of congenital being: cerebral palsy, CTEV, meningocele, meningo myelocele, phocomelias, congenital dislocation of hip
  • Causes of the acquired disability can be put within the following jackets: Infective and Traumatic.
    • The infective ones are: tuberculosis of spine or other joints, chronic osteomyelitis, septic arthritis, acute poliomyelitis, G.B. syndrome, leprosy, encephalitis, AIDS etc.
    • Traumatic ones are: traffic accidents (air, water, road), domestic accidents, industrial accidents, agricultural accidents, fall from height, bullet injuries, explosions, violence, sports injuries, natural catastrophies like earthquakes, floods etc.

Then there can be other causes as well, such as vascular. Common examples are: cerebro vascular disease, peripheral vascular disease, and perthe's disease. Neoplastic conditions are yet another cause of locomotor disability. For example, brain tumors like astrocytoma, meningioma, spinal tumors like meningioma, astrocytoma, and osteo sarcoma etc.

Metabolism, as has been said earlier, too can be the villain. Common examples are: rickets, diabetes mellitus, gout etc. There can be degenerative causes too. Examples are: motor neuron disease1, parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, osteo arthritis, spondylosis etc.

Among the miscellaneous causes can be musculas dystrophies, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematoses, lathyrism, ankylosing spondylitis, iatrogenic, and so on.

As per NSSO Survey on Disability 2002, the major causes were Polio (29% of all persons), Injury other than Burns (26%), Other Illness (12%) and Stroke (7%).


The type of treatment can vary significantly according to the type of disability, including drug treatment, injections, surgery, physiotherapy, massage and other mobility treatments.

Statistics in India

As per NSSO Survey on Disability 2002, there are 10.6 million persons in India with locomotor disability.

References for More Reading and Understanding/Sources

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