Chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms can be prompted by moderate strain to the muscles and nerves. The study looked at 80 individuals – 60 subjects with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and 20 without the syndrome. Participants reported their levels of fatigue, body pain, lightheadedness, concentration difficulties, and headache status every five minutes during the 15-minute period of either passive straight leg raises while lying on their back, or sham leg raises that didn’t cause strain.
Participants were then contacted 24 hours after the session to report on the symptoms. Those who underwent the true strain reported greater symptom intensity for lightheadedness, along with overall symptoms score.
Coauthor Kevin Fontaine said, “These findings have practical implications for understanding why exercise and the activities of daily living might be capable of provoking CFS symptoms. If simply holding up the leg of someone with CFS to a degree that produces a mild to moderate strain is capable of provoking their symptoms, prolonged or excessive muscle strain beyond the usual range of motion that occurs during daily activities might also produce symptom flares.”
Lead author Peter Rowe added, “The lengthwise strain applied to the nerves and muscles of the lower limb is capable of increasing symptom intensity in individuals with CFS for up to 24 hours, indicating that increased mechanical sensitivity may be a contributor to the provocation of symptoms in this disorder.”
Tips to manage chronic fatigue syndrome flare-ups
Living with chronic fatigue syndrome can be challenging, so taking the necessary steps for flare-up prevention is crucial.
Here are some tips to manage your CFS flare-ups.
- Pace yourself – know your limits and don’t try to push yourself over the limit, even if you’re having a good time.
- Learn and understand what you can and cannot do, and use that information as your baseline. Staying within your baseline can help you feel better and make you more productive.
- Listen to your body – it is the best indicator to your limits and abilities.
- Make a routine that is manageable and within your baseline.
- Control and manage stress.
- Rest when necessary.
- Avoid quick fixes as they often don’t work and can cause even greater stress.
- Eat well-balanced meals.
- Find ways to manage your symptoms instead of trying to cure them.
- Stick to your treatment plan.
By following these tips, you can have greater success in your chronic fatigue syndrome flare-up management.
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