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February 18, 1961

Maintenance of Functional Capacity

JAMA. 1961;175(7):592-594. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040070050011

Recent reports of the National Health Survey support the belief that the rapidly growing number of elderly persons is, to a great extent, responsible for the increasing incidence of disabling chronic diseases in the total population. Restorative medicine, or—as it is more popularly known—rehabilitation is commonly accepted as being responsible for the restoration and maintenance of functional capacity in those patients who suffer from an established disability. The role of restorative medicine in the prevention of crippling complications in the chronically ill is not sufficiently utilized. This article deals with some of the clinical principles upon which prevention of the more commonly encountered crippling complications rests. The practical application of simple procedures could considerably reduce the the number and severity of crippling in the elderly and chronically ill population.