Chronic Fatigue: What it Is, What it Isn’t, and What to Do About It

We all get tired from time to time, and we’ve all been exhausted and needed rest. Unfortunately, some people suffer from a chronic condition that causes long-lasting fatigue, as well as other symptoms. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), according to the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), affects 1% of the population; however, for that percentage, their lives can be dramatically adversely affected by this disorder. We tell you what it is, as well as a potential way to improve your health and wellness if you’re dealing with CFS.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – What it Is (and Isn’t):

CFS is a lot more than being tired. Instead its major hallmark involves generalized fatigue that lasts six months or longer and the fatigue is disproportionate to the person’s activity. According to APTA, researchers haven’t yet determined the cause of CFS; however, they believe that the immune system, gastrointestinal system, and aerobic energy deficiencies may play a role in the functional impairment people experience with CFS. APTA also notes that without treatment, CFS can often lead to disability. With treatment, the disorder can be managed and quality of life can be improved.

CFS symptoms:

  • CFS has symptoms beyond the overwhelming fatigue. These include:
  • Generalized pain
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Frequent headaches
  • Muscle weakness
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Cognitive effects like cloudy thoughts or confusion

Recommended Treatment:

A physical therapist can be an invaluable resource for helping manage your CFS. Your physical therapist will assess your condition and identify what treatment plan would work best to improve strength and mobility and ease any discomfort. S/he can assess any other conditions that may coincide with your CFS, such as anxiety or depression and may refer you to specialists if necessary. S/he will likely develop a home exercise program to address specific areas needing improvement, and also educate you on the best way to manage activity and movement to conserve energy throughout the day. Your physical therapist may also perform manual therapy and manipulate your body to help improve movement and decrease any discomfort. Relying on your physical therapist to help manage your CFS is a smart strategy and staying flexible and mobile can help reduce your discomfort and improve how you feel.

Whether you’re dealing with CFS or other health issues that affect your movement, mobility, and overall wellness, Body One Physical Therapy is here to help you start feeling better. We’re locally-owned and operated with four locations serving Central Indiana: North Indianapolis, South Indianapolis, Fishers, and Zionsville. Our team of experienced, caring physical therapists work with clients of all ages and activity levels, and we see a wide variety of health concerns daily. Don’t settle for living in pain or with limited mobility: take the first step on your road to health and wellness and call Body One Physical Therapy today!