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MUSCLE AND NERVE STRAIN CAN WORSEN CHRONIC FATIGUE

SYMPTOMS of chronic fatigue syndrome or myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) are common among athletes who overtrain and researchers have now discovered why continuing to train through the side effects of the condition can make things worse. It seems CFS symptoms are triggered by mild to moderate muscle and nerve strain, the kind encountered in every type of exercise.

CFS is known to cause muscle pain, poor memory and concentration, joint pain and tender lymph nodes in the neck or armpit, although diagnosis is often overlooked as there are no specific tests for the syndrome. Dr Peter Rowe and his team at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine recruited 60 volunteers with CFS and 20 without the condition and then asked them to complete either a supine straight leg raise – lying on their back while raising and holding one leg to strain muscles and nerves – or a false leg raise for 15 minutes.

Researchers asked for feedback about any body pain, lightheadedness, headaches, and problems with concentration every five minutes during the exercises and then 24 hours after the activity. Patients with CFS reported experiencing more concentration difficulties and body pain doing the supine leg raise compared with those doing the sham move. They also experienced more intense lightheadedness and other symptoms a day later.

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04/08/2016
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