This volume entitled Therapeutic Exercises for Stiff Joints and Muscles Ache is the second in the series Culture of Healing in Malaysia: Chinese Culture of Healing. It deals with the disorders of the human skeletal joints. Many people suffer from various types of disorders, such as stiffness and pains, now and then because of the daily stress our bodies are subject to or because of lack of exercise. Those with genetic defects of the joints will also suffer sooner or later, unless preventive steps are taken. If the problem is rectified early, extensive damage may be averted and the degree of improvement would be much higher.
The stiffness and pains that people suffer may be classified into two categories:
Group 1: accidents. falls, beatings causing bone fractures, dislocation, sprain, torn muscles, ligaments, tendons etc.
Group 2: rheumatic disorders to the joints, bone, muscles such as arthritis, backache, bunions, bursitis, osteoporosis, slipped disc, tendonitis, paralysis etc.
A series of programmed exercises graded according to the ‘strain’ exerted, that is, light, medium and strong, and carried out over a period of time can be used to alleviate certain conditions and to maintain good health.
Those suffering from disorders in the first category need short term exercise only, unless the damage is severe in which case the time frame for the exercises can range from weeks to months. The highest percentage of sprains or fractures suffered by this group is to the wrists and knees. Those suffering from disorders in the second group, however, need to carry out the exercises for a period of some months to years or throughout their lifetime, unless they suffer from muscle aches only.
Most of the people who have sought treatment at the Fisio Tradisi Mah Centre have come with pains in the lumbar area due to many causes. The most common ones are compression of the lumbar vertebrae, degeneration of the body, stiff muscles and spine curvature. The second most common pains are around the neck and shoulders, due to stiff muscles and compression of the vertebrae. Next comes pains in the knees, stiff tendons or ligaments.
Recovery for severe cases involving older people is about 45-60 percent, severe cases involving young people, 60-70 percent and minor cases involving young people, 85 percent and above. The period of treatment for improvement is 1-6 months for minor cases and 4 months to 4 years for severe cases.
Treatment is important, but it should not be the end. In Therapeutic Exercises for Stiff Joints and Muscles Ache, the author have focused on exercises for the joints of the body. The end result of the exercises is to loosen the ligaments and muscles, and then to strengthen the ligaments, muscles, bones and cartilage to prevent a relapse. Patience and tolerance is the price to pay for good health