Gait abnormalities in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

To evaluate our clinical impression that patients with the chronic
fatigue syndrome (CFS) did not walk normally, we assessed gait
kinematics at slow walking speeds (i.e., 0.45, 0.89 and 1.34
m/sec) and 30 m run time speeds on CFS patients and on a
comparison group of sedentary controls. Run time was
significantly slower for CFS than control subjects (p <
0.001). There was a significant interaction (p < 0.01) between
group and speed for maximum hip angle during stance and swing
phase with hip angle being significantly larger at 1.34 m/sec
for CFS than controls subjects for both cases (p < 0.05). Knee
flexion during stance and swing phases was significantly
larger for controls than CFS subjects at 0.45 m/sec (p <
0.01). Ratio of stride length divided by leg length was
significantly larger for the control subjects than for the CFS
subjects with differences occurring at 0.45 and 0.89 m/sec (p
< 0.01) but not 1.34 m/sec. The data indicate that CFS
patients have gait abnormalities when compared to sedentary
controls. These could be due to balance problems, muscle
weakness, or central nervous system dysfunction; deciding
which will require further research. Evaluation of gait may be
a useful tool to measure outcome following therapeutic

Boda WL, Natelson BH, Sisto SA, Tapp WN

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