Chronic fatigue syndrome is characterized by persistent fatigue. The fatigue or tiredness goes on for 6 months or even longer, limiting a person’s ability to participate in normal everyday activities.
The cause of chronic fatigue syndrome is yet to be discovered but there are theories linking it to impairment of immune system and psychological stress, among others.
There is no specific test to diagnose CFS so you may need to undergo various exams in order for other possible health issues to be ruled out. Treatment is hence directed to the symptoms that the patient experiences.
Prevalence of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in Canada
A study conducted in 2010 showed that about 411000 of Canadians ages 12 years and older reported having been diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome.
Meanwhile, a recent survey suggests that CFS may be more common among Canadians than previously thought.
Results showed that some 560,000 Canadians report having chronic fatigue syndrome. This data suggests that the condition may be more prevalent than breast cancer, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis combined.
Symptoms of CFS may include the following:
- Persistent fatigue or extreme exhaustion
- Feeling ill after engaging in physical exercises
- Loss of focus or memory
- Frequent or recurring headaches
- Poor sleep
- Sore throat
- Muscle and or joint pain
- Lymph nodes in your armpits and neck
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Risk Factors
Factors that may increase a person’s risks of developing chronic fatigue syndrome include the following:
- Chronic fatigue syndrome is most among adults in their 40s to 50s.
- Women are more likely to develop chronic fatigue syndrome. Although there is also the possibility that this is also because women are more likely
- Allergies and other environmental factors. These factors may all contribute to acquiring CFS.
- Another factor that can lead to chronic fatigue syndrome is the inability or difficulty in coping with stress.
- Physical inactivity. Results of a study suggest that the condition may be more prevalent among people that are physically inactive.
How is CFS Diagnosed?
CFS is challenging to diagnose as there is no specific exam to confirm its presence. Your physician or physiotherapist will be basing their findings on your reports.
They’ll ask you questions regarding your physical functions and may also perform tests to ensure your symptoms are not related to other medical conditions.
Among topics they’ll talk to you about is your persistent fatigue, whether you feel any pain or discomfort, if there are changes in your ability to engage in physical activities, or if your concentration was in any way affected.
How Can Your Physiotherapist Help?
Every treatment plan for chronic fatigue syndrome is unique as its effects are different for every patient.
You and your physiotherapist will be working together to develop a treatment plan that will help address symptoms you report. Your treatment will also be designed to help alleviate any discomfort you’re feeling.
Since depression and other conditions are also associated with CFS your physiotherapist may also conduct further tests. This way, they’ll be able to refer you to other specialists should they recognize the need for it.
For your physiotherapy sessions, your treatment will focus on improving your strength and endurance to help counter fatigue and weakness. Your physiotherapist will educate you on how you can conserve your energy while performing daily tasks.
In most cases you will set small, realistic goals to avoid pushing yourself too hard in the beginning. Eventually, you can adjust your goals to fit within your physical abilities.
A huge part of your treatment will be your strengthening exercises. Exercise programs for chronic fatigue syndrome are flexible as too strenuous activities may only worsen your symptoms. Your physiotherapist will help you identify appropriate movements.
Hands-on therapy may also be incorporated into your program to reduce pain and enhance your mobility. Your physiotherapist may also recommend that you implement changes to your lifestyle, such as getting enough rest, managing stress, and eating a balanced diet.
Your emotional and mental health can also contribute to the success of your treatment program. Hence, it’s crucial to keep a positive mindset.
Looking for Qualified Physiotherapists in Halifax?
Our team at One to One Wellness is happy to welcome you. Let’s work together so you can optimize your everyday performance and improve your overall wellness.
Call us today at 902-425-3775 to book your appointment.