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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome CFS / ME

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E) also commonly known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a chronic fluctuating disease. The onset can be gradual or sudden. Symptoms vary from person to person and may be mild, moderate or severe.

Feeling extremely tired or exhausted most or all of the time, is one of the main symptoms. This feels very different from ordinary tiredness. Simple physical or mental activities or combinations of activities can leave you feeling shattered or struggling to function. You can also experience an increase in other symptoms such as:

  • Persistent exhaustion or fatigue
  • Feeling generally unwell
  • Recurrent sore throat
  • Pain: Aching muscles or joints, Nerve pain or pins & needles, Headaches or migraine, Twitching muscles or Cramps, Abdominal pain
  • Sleep disturbances: Unrefreshing sleep, Difficulty getting off to sleep, Waking for long periods in the early hours, sleep reversal (eg: sleeping from 4am to midday), Hypersomnia (sleeping for a long time)
  • Problems with concentration:
  • Mood: Frustration, anxiety, panic attacks, low mood, depression, and mood swings.
  • Problems with the nervous system: poor temperature control, dizziness on standing up, sweating, loss of balance
  • Digestive problems: nausea, loss of appetite, indigestion, excessive wind, cramps, diarrhoea or constipation
  • Increased sensitivity to: bright light, noise, odours, some foods, medications, alcohol.


People with M.E. can vary enormously in their experience of the illness, also how long their symptoms last. Many people make good progress quite quickly, while others can remain ill for a number of years. Most people improve over time, especially with treatment.

Treatment, in the form of physiotherapy intervention can be beneficial, as it helps to keep the joints and muscles moving and prevents muscle wasting, weakness and joint stiffness. This may be through a combination of massage, manual therapy, stretches, education, and acupuncture. This in turn can help to reduce pain.

Your physiotherapist can help you understand the condition as well as teaching you pacing, managing your time and sleep habits, and using graded activity / exercise therapy. You will be treated according to your individual symptoms. Goals which you would like to achieve, will be discussed and implemented with your therapist.

“Be positive, help is available.”