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Physical effects of a reconditioning program in a group of chronic fatigue syndrome patients

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By E. Guillamo et al.


BACKGROUND: Physical exercise can be part of treatment in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), where the aim would be to improve strength and endurance through increasing physical exercise (intensity and time) without aggravating symptomatology. The present study examines the effectiveness of a reconditioning programme (focusing on strength, endurance, balance and propioception) for achieving maximum functional capacity according to the clinical status of CFS patients.

METHODS: Sixty-eight patients with CFS were randomly assigned to two groups: a control group (CG) comprising 22 patients and an active group (AG) of 46 patients, the latter being invited to take part in a functional reconditioning programme based on 12 weeks of laboratory training followed by a further 12-week home training period. Functional assessments were as follows: before (I) and after (II) the laboratory training and after (III) the home training.

RESULTS: In the AG, 22 patients (67%) completed the intervention (laboratory) stage and 20 finished the whole protocol (61%). Patients in the AG showed improved static and dynamic balance, as well as significantly greater maximum strength (F=7.059, P<0.05). Differences in resistance strength were also observed, with the AG showing a 19.9% improvement between functional assessments I and II (P=0.04). We do not found changes in the CG.

CONCLUSIONS: A physical exercise programme of this kind might offer CFS patients the opportunity to improve their strength, balance and quality of life, there being only a very small risk of relapse and none of the adverse effects of other treatments.

Source: Guillamo E, Barbany JR, Blazquez A, Delicado MC, Ventura JL, Javierre C. Physical effects of a reconditioning program me in a group of chronic fatigue syndrome patients. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2016 May;56(5):579-86.

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