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Conceptual Model for Physical Therapist Management of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome / Myalgic Encephalomyelitis – Source: Physical Therapy, Feb 25, 2010

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Fatigue is one of the most common reasons why people consult health care providers. Chronic fatigue syndrome / myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) is one cause of clinically debilitating fatigue.

The underdiagnosis of CFS/ME, along with the spectrum of symptoms that represent multiple reasons for entry into physical therapy settings, places physical therapists in a unique position to identify this health condition and direct its appropriate management.

The diagnosis and clinical correlates of CFS/ME are becoming better understood, although the optimal clinical management of this condition remains controversial.

The 4 aims of this perspective article are:

1. To summarize the diagnosis of CFS/ME with the goal of promoting the optimal recognition of this condition by physical therapists;

2. To discuss aerobic system and cognitive deficits that may lead to the clinical presentation of CFS/ME;

3. To review the evidence for graded exercise with the goal of addressing limitations in body structures and functions, activity, and participation in people with CFS/ME; and

4. To present a conceptual model for the clinical management of CFS/ME by physical therapists.

Source: Physical Therapy, Feb 25, 2010. DOI: 10.2522/ptj.20090047, by Davenport TE, Stevens SR, VanNess MJ, Snell CR, Little T. Department of Physical Therapy, Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences; Pacific Fatigue Laboratory, Department of Sport Sciences; Department of Sport Sciences, University of the Pacific, Stockton, California. [Email: Todd E Davenport, PT, DPT, OCS at tdavenport@pacific.edu]

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