Feeling tired after a long day is normal, especially if you have a very busy or active life.
But just how tired is too tired?
There are some signs to look for if you think you might have chronic fatigue syndrome, such as general body pains, headaches, brain fog, and sleep issues.
These symptoms may look common at first and you might even think you’re just having trouble getting rid of a cold.
But if they’ve been going on for a while, there may be something deeper at play.
Fortunately, chronic fatigue syndrome can be managed, and you might benefit from physical therapy for headaches and chronic pain physical therapy to have a better quality of life, despite your condition.
For now, let’s find out more about chronic fatigue syndrome and what you can do about it.
What Is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
Obviously, there are reasons why you might feel fatigued.
If you’ve had a particularly busy day, or you’ve just run a race (after getting a running analysis to avoid needing physical therapy for sports injuries, of course), you’ll obviously be tired.
That’s completely normal.
However, when your fatigue lasts for more than six months, then it’s sensible to consider getting a medical assessment, since that’s a strong indicator of chronic fatigue syndrome.
Suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome can get in the way of your daily activities, since people with this condition are constantly in a weak state or lacking energy that is not relieved by sleep.
Symptoms Of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
People experience symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome differently.
However, one common characteristic is feeling inexplicably exhausted after completing daily tasks that include light physical or mental activities.
The general symptoms you might experience with chronic fatigue syndrome are:
- Fatigue that can last six months or longer
- General pain all over the body
- Chronic headaches
- Muscle weakness
- Difficulty concentrating and confusion (brain fog)
- Difficulty sleeping despite feeling tired
- Flu like symptoms, including sore throat
It’s important to mention that given the nature of these symptoms, people may confuse chronic fatigue syndrome with other conditions, like the common cold or the flu.
Physical therapy can help manage your symptoms and improve your life with this condition, even though symptoms can vary and change from time to time.
What Causes Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
Unfortunately, the causes of chronic fatigue syndrome are yet not fully understood, but it’s suspected that some systems in the body might trigger it, if not working properly, such as:
- Your energy production system, which your body use to process oxygen and food into energy
- Your immune system
- Your autonomic nervous system, which controls body functions like blood pressure, digestion, heart rate and breathing
- Your digestive system
Chronic fatigue syndrome can be a very serious and dangerous condition if not addressed early, so it’s important to know and detect the signs and symptoms before it gets worse.
However, there are different strategies a physical therapist can use to help improve your well being, such as:
- Finding ways to manage activity periods and rest periods
- Mild exercises that can help you stay active without worsening your symptoms
- Therapies to address anxiety and depression that can stem from this condition
There’s currently no known way to prevent chronic fatigue syndrome, but education combined with physical therapy can help in the management of symptoms.
Diagnosing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
In order to diagnose chronic fatigue syndrome, other health problems that cause extreme fatigue have to be ruled out.
Symptoms will also be taken into consideration and medical tests will be ordered to confirm your condition.
However, there isn’t a specific test that can diagnose chronic fatigue syndrome, but your physical therapist may be able to notice early symptoms and follow up with questions, such as:
- What times of the day are you feeling fatigued?
- For how long have you felt fatigued?
- Do you experience pain all over your body?
- Are there any changes in your ability to do physical activities?
- Do you experience sleep issues?
- Are there any changes in your ability to think clearly?
After this, your physical therapist may run some tests, based on your answers.
How Can Physical Therapy For Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Help?
The goal of a physical therapist is to get to know your specific case and create a personal management plan, to help you deal with chronic fatigue syndrome.
The main focus when it comes to this condition is helping you manage its life changing consequences.
One major factor with chronic fatigue syndrome is general discomfort.
The overall feeling of things being “not right” can be frustrating, but physical therapy can help you manage that feeling to better participate in your daily activities.
Fatigue, pain and weakness are significant as well.
Through various physical therapy techniques, including dry needling, you can improve your strength, endurance, and energy, and manage your pain.
By creating a wellness program as well, you can enjoy a more active lifestyle in spite of your condition, which can help you manage related depression.
Beyond these, your physical therapist can help with the following approaches:
Chronic fatigue syndrome can be a complex disorder with many different variables.
What’s more, these variables can change from person to person.
Your physical therapist can help by teaching you strategies you can use to manage the way your condition affects you specifically.
In particular, this can help with energy conservation, pain management, and better sleep.
2. Strengthening Exercises
It’s easy to lose your physical strength while dealing with chronic fatigue syndrome.
Your physical therapist can provide strengthening exercises for you to maintain your physical abilities.
3. Manual Therapy
When your energy is low, you also likely are not moving as much as you could otherwise, which can result in feeling tight or stiff.
Manual therapeutic techniques can help reduce the severity of these symptoms.
These techniques can help mobilize your skin, bones, and soft tissues to help keep these components healthy.
Book Your Appointment With Capitol Physical Therapy Today
Do you suspect you may be dealing with chronic fatigue syndrome?
Or, have you already received a diagnosis?
If so, Capitol Physical Therapy can provide you with the care and knowledge you need to manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life.
Book your appointment with Capitol Physical Therapy today.
1331 H St NW #200,
Washington, DC 20005
9560 Pennsylvania Ave. # 202,
Upper Marlboro, MD 20772
Capitol Physical Therapy offers orthopedic and other pain related solutions, with our versitile team of physical therapists in Washington, DC