is it normal for an elderly person in a wheel chair to have their legs/body freeze up and can no longer move/bend them? - AgingCare.com

is it normal for an elderly person in a wheel chair to have their legs/body freeze up and can no longer move/bend them?

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Lots of reasons this can happen and my first thought is something like collapsed vertebrae which can be cause by injury, osteo arthritis or osteoporosis.
Did this happen suddenly?
Does she/he have pain in the back?
Has the back been X-rayed if this is sudden onset? Any history of falls or other accidents?
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HillyDilly, yes if muscles aren't being used they can freeze up.

I remember back when I had my arm in a sling for 3 weeks. After removing the sling I was so surprised that I couldn't lift my arm, or move it sideways or around back. Oops. So I had to have physical therapy for a several months to stretch out those muscles so I could use that arm once again.

As cwillie had mentioned above, the nursing facility should be giving your Mother physical therapy... unless she is refusing :(
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Are you talking about contractures? My mom can no longer completely straighten her legs at the knee, at the time it developed she was still walking a few steps (but with a stooped gait) and I had never heard of contractures. Unfortunately it is usually irreversible once it sets in so now that she is in a wheelchair I try to help her do some basic exercises to prevent any more joints from losing range of motion. This should never happen to someone in a nursing home as they know what to look for and understand how to prevent it.... they are a sign of neglect and are considered to be abuse.
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