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Guided Exercise May Help Chronic Fatigue Patients: Study
Little by little, patients step up activity levels as an expert coaches via phone or online video

By Robert Preidt

THURSDAY, June 22, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- An expert-guided, self-help exercise program may help people with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), a new study suggests.

Two hundred CFS patients did workouts for 12 weeks with phone or online video support from a physiotherapist. The program slowly increases physical activity (such as a few minutes walking) once participants have established a daily routine.

Researchers say it may be a good way for CFS patients to begin managing their symptoms without traveling to a clinic, which may tire them. Besides extreme fatigue, CFS can cause muscle and joint pain, sore throat and tender lymph nodes, headaches and problems with memory and sleep.

The study was published June 22 in The Lancet.

"We found that a self-help approach to a graded exercise program [GES], guided by a therapist, was safe and also helped to reduce fatigue for some people with chronic fatigue syndrome,"study lead author Lucy Clark said in a journal news release. She is a research fellow at Queen Mary University of London, in England.

Researchers are now investigating whether the benefits lasted beyond the 12-week study.

Clark noted that graded exercise is designed to improve patterns of activity and may require some patients to be less active at the beginning.

"The aim is to progress carefully to improve, under the supervision of a CFS-experienced therapist, rather than pushing people too hard and towards a setback. Offering the therapy as a self-help approach, supervised by a physiotherapist, could increase access and avoid the fatiguing effects of travel for the intervention," she said.

Dr. Daniel Clauw, director of the Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center at the University of Michigan, praised the study in an accompanying journal editorial.

"The finding that graded exercise therapy is effective even when exercise is not being witnessed and directly guided by a physiotherapist is a substantial advance, since many patients with chronic fatigue syndrome and other functional impairment have difficulty getting to physiotherapy or do not have access to appropriately trained physiotherapists," he wrote.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on chronic fatigue syndrome.

SOURCE: The Lancet, news release, June 22, 2017

Copyright © 2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved. URL:http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=723907

Resources from HONselect: HONselect is the HON's medical search engine. It retrieves scientific articles, images, conferences and web sites on the selected subject.
Fatigue
Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic
Syndrome
Research Personnel
Pain
The list of medical terms above are retrieved automatically from the article.

Disclaimer: The text presented on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It is for your information only and may not represent your true individual medical situation. Do not hesitate to consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare professional.
Be advised that HealthDay articles are derived from various sources and may not reflect your own country regulations. The Health On the Net Foundation does not endorse opinions, products, or services that may appear in HealthDay articles.


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