Can physical therapy help chronic fatigue?

By Daniel Skulavik - Contributing columnist

Chronic fatigue syndrome is a clinical condition characterized by excessive fatigue and body pain. It is often preceded by a viral illness and is associated with symptoms like muscle aches and pains, joint pains, difficulty sleeping and at times, depression.

The symptoms are unpredictable and can vary from mild discomfort to excruciating pain. Depending on its severity, this condition has the potential to alter the lives of the patient and their family members, and requires a comprehensive treatment plan.

For decades, the healthcare community has debated the best way to treat chronic fatigue syndrome. Most patients required a combination of medical intervention and physical therapy. Let’s take a closer look at how physical therapy can effectively combat chronic fatigue syndrome.

A supervised, progressive exercise program is the foundation of physical therapy treatment for patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. The first time you meet with your physical therapist, the therapist will determine the extent of the disease. This will help the physical therapist understand what your requirements are and chart out a plan for treatment. The therapist will assess the patient’s underlying ability and initiate an intervention program.

Starting with a series of simple stretches and exercise programs, you can expect in an improvement in motion and strength. This allows the body to become stronger and cope with the pain at the same time. For example, a patient may be asked to walk for a few minutes a day. As time progresses, the patient is able to walk faster, and over longer distances. Supervised, progressive exercise is the key. Chronic fatigue syndrome is characterized by days when the patient feels really active and energetic, and other days when they feel tired and listless. Physical therapy helps improve the physical and the mental state of the patient over a period of time.

Physical therapy can change lives, in more ways than one. It can help treat most types of pain and dysfunction in the body by identifying the underlying cause and its impact on bones, muscles and joints. You’ll be surprised with everything we can do.

For patients with chronic fatigue syndrome, physical therapy can transform quality of life. It helps patients strike the right balance between rest and movement. This is achieved with an exercise program that is simple, progressive and supervised. An improvement in physical function can positively impact every aspect of the patient’s life, including emotional and mental state. Physical therapy can have a life altering impact on you and your family. You can stop by our office and pick up one of our free books as it relates to your condition. Otherwise you can call Advanced Physical Therapy of Clinton at any time to speak with a physical therapist about chronic fatigue syndrome or any other physical therapy related questions that you may have.

Dr. Daniel Skulavik, PT, DPT, OCS, is with Advanced Physical Therapy located in the Food Lion Shopping Center, Clinton.

By Daniel Skulavik

Contributing columnist

Dr. Daniel Skulavik, PT, DPT, OCS, is with Advanced Physical Therapy located in the Food Lion Shopping Center, Clinton.

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