THE Arthritis Foundation Malaysia (AFM) recently launched its first ever exercise VCD in Malaysia for better arthritis management. The VCD, a collaborative effort with Pfizer Malaysia, is part of the foundation's aims and objectives to further the welfare of individuals living with arthritis.
President of AFM Associate Professor Dr Chow Sook Khuan during the launch said: Arthritis is a very common yet often misinterpreted disease. It ranks second as the most prevalent chronic disease after heart disease and is more common in women than men. Alarming statistics estimate that 60% of the population will have some form of arthritis by the age of 60, particularly osteoarthritis (more than 20%). Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, affects 1% of our population and can affect all age groups.
Despite the high number of arthritic patients, Malaysians are still unaware and ignorant about how to manage arthritis appropriately. Besides drug therapy, an effective, proven form of adjunctive treatment for arthritis is actually exercise, because exercise helps loosen the joints and prevent joint stiffness. People are often confused with the conflicting advice that they get regarding exercise and rest. We hope that this VCD will dispel the myth that exercise is bad for arthritic patients but in fact, the right exercise is necessary to increase joint mobility, added Dr Chow.
The VCD, which has three tracks and runs for over an hour, covers the educational aspects of the disease, highlighting the epidemiology of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, diagnosis and treatment approaches, as well as two easy-to-follow sets of basic and specific exercises. The exercises, if done appropriately and regularly, will help to ease stiffness in the joints and therefore relieve pain. The VCD is available free of charge and can be obtained from AFM.
Physiotherapists from Sunway Medical Centre and Hospital Pantai Indah were part of the team that demonstrated the exercises shown in the VCD.
Speaking on behalf of Pfizer Malaysia on its involvement in the VCD, Medical Advisor Dr Susila Kulasingam said: In the Malaysian society, pain is often taken for granted and blindly accepted as part and parcel of life, say for example, aches and pains of old age or in this case, arthritis pain.
Pfizer's support in developing this exercise VCD with AFM is part of Pfizer's commitment in the sphere of pain management education to the Malaysian public. We hope that this VCD is able to help arthritis patients better manage their pain and disease, concluded Dr Kulasingam.
About Arthritis Foundation Malaysia
The Arthritis Foundation Malaysia (AFM) is a non-governmental organisation that provides support to its members through the dissemination of correct information regarding arthritis to the public. The foundation prides in helping needy patients to get subsidized care and to develop medical research in the field of arthritis and bone disease. As a non-governmental organisation, the foundation is supported mainly through membership fees and public donations.
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