Graded exercise therapy

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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.[1]

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 (although not a cure) for those with CFS/ME.[1]

Some prominent health organisations support the usefulness of GET for chronic fatigue syndrome (UK's NHS,[2] and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners[3]).

However, several prominent patient groups challenge the effectiveness of such treatment. The ME Association's position statement states that GET causes adverse reactions in a significant percentage of patients.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Centers for Disease Control & Prevention: Chronic fatigue Syndrome
  2. ^ [1], NHS's "Treating chronic fatigue syndrome"
  3. ^ [2], Royal Australian College of General Practitioners's "Graded exercise therapy: chronic fatigue syndrome"
  4. ^ [3], ME Association position on graded exercise therapy.