Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) is a relatively common illness. The physical symptoms can be as disabling as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and other chronic conditions.
CFS/ME involves a complex range of symptoms that includes fatigue, malaise, headaches, sleep disturbance, difficulties with concentration and muscle pain. The pattern and intensity of symptoms vary between people, and during the course of each person’s illness. People often have symptoms for many years before CFS/ME is diagnosed. The causes and disease processes of CFS/ME are still not understood.
There is good evidence that with the right treatment it is possible for people to be helped to manage the condition, with the aim of maintaining and extending their physical, emotional and cognitive capacity.
Graded Exercise Therapy (GET) and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) are the treatments for which there is the clearest research evidence of benefit. GET should be delivered by a suitably trained GET therapist with experience in CFS/ME. This is often, but not exclusively a Physiotherapist.