Graded exercise therapy
Graded exercise therapy (GET) is physical activity that starts very slowly and gradually increases over time. This approach is used as part of a treatment plan for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and certain other conditions. This method avoids the extremes of the "push-crash" cycle of over exercising during remittance or not exercising at all due to concern of relapse.
Typically the GET begins with active stretching, followed by range-of-motion contractions and extensions, done for five minutes per day for a completely inactive individual. Avoiding extremes is key, and activity must be balanced with rest. Exercise sessions should be preset by the number of repetitions or amount of time. The duration is determined by the patient using trial and error, with the goal of stopping before becoming tired. Research has shown that gradual, guided physical activity can be helpful for those suffering from CFS.
However, despite such currently held views by government health departments on the usefulness of GET (e.g. UK's NHS.), there are still many doubts as to the effectiveness of using such treatment for those suffering from ME/CFS, as raised by studies made by those working more closely with this disease. In particular, their own research found that between 30% and 50% of patients using this method are actually made worse.
- Centers for Disease Control & Prevention: Chronic fatigue Syndrome
- , NHS's "Treating chronic fatigue syndrome"
- , ME Association position on graded exercise therapy).