What is chronic fatigue?

Occasional, temporary tiredness, or exhaustion is normal. But a nearly constant state of lingering or persistent weariness is called extreme fatigue or chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). This health condition is also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), sometimes shortened to ME/CFS, or systemic exertion intolerance disease (SEID).

Chronic fatigue can have a devastating impact on your emotional and psychological well-being, reducing your energy, motivation, and concentration.

What are the symptoms of fatigue?

Chronic fatigue usually begins suddenly and can last as little as a few days, or you may experience it for weeks, months, years, or even decades.

If you feel four or more of these or similar symptoms all the time or sporadically, you may have chronic fatigue:

  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Feeling tired after physical activity
  • Headaches
  • Irritability
  • Joint pain
  • Lack of energy or low energy levels
  • Loss of memory or concentration
  • Malaise
  • Mood swings
  • Muscle pain
  • Night sweats
  • Problems sleeping
  • Sore throat
  • Unrefreshing sleep

Because chronic fatigue mimics many other health problems, it may require patience to reach a diagnosis. The most frequent symptom is joint and muscle pain. This is because pain and sleep are related. The more pain you are in the less you may be able to get refreshing sleep, and the less sleep you get, the more pain you may be in.

In general, you should see a doctor if you feel you have persistent or excessive tiredness.

What are the causes and risk factors of fatigue?

The symptom of unrelenting exhaustion can be a challenge to diagnose. There are many causes and medical conditions that may cause fatigue. There is no single test to confirm a diagnosis.

It might be caused by a number of factors such as viral infection, immune system disorders, hormonal imbalances, and mental health. Some people may have a predisposition. And some fatigue is caused by lifestyle factors such as diet choices, alcohol use, and caffeine use.

What does BackFit do for chronic fatigue?

There is no classic medical treatment to fix chronic fatigue syndrome. Medical treatment only attempts to mask symptoms, but it does not fix the underlying issue. Here at BackFit, our process is to treat it at its source, starting with a medical history. We then use some or all of these methods to address the root cause of fatigue:

We may also offer other alternative solutions, such as electrotherapy through TENS, PENS, or acupuncture. In some cases, we may provide a referral for other therapies for anxiety and depression.

Each patient with chronic fatigue syndrome is unique, and we create a custom treatment plan for each patient. A combination of adjustments for the musculoskeletal system, stress relief from massage, and medical intervention can provide a conservative treatment alternative to more invasive drugs and procedures.

Woman with fatigue and multiple cups of coffee laying her head on desk

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