Chronic Fatigue

Range of Motion offers Exercise Physiologist designed one-on-one exercise sessions for individuals with this condition. Book a complimentary consultation or contact us to find out more.

The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.

Based on guidelines provided by the American College of Sports Medicine.

Condition Overview:

Chronic Fatigue syndrome is a complex condition characterised by persistent debilitating fatigue with no definite physical or mental cause. It is a subset of Chronic Fatigue (unexplained fatigue lasting over six months). The condition has multiple aetiologies, with no one factor contributing to its occurrence. As such, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is an endpoint, a result of these aetiologies. Contributing factors may include:

Viral infection

  • Immunological dysfunction
  • Abnormal hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity
  • Neurally mediated hypotension
  • Nutritional deficiency
  • Psychological stress

Due to the ambiguity of causative factors, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is diagnosed by its symptoms. These include:

  • Debilitating fatigue
  • Frequent sore throat
  • Painful lymph nodes
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty with concentration and memory
  • Fever

For a diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (as opposed to Chronic Fatigue) to be made, it must meet both of the following criteria:
1. Clinically evaluated chronic fatigue of new or definite onset that:

  • Is not a result of continued exertion.
  • Is not reduced by rest.
  • Results in the impairment of activities of daily living.

2. The simultaneous occurrence of four or more of the following symptoms:

  • Impaired short term memory or concentration.
  • Sore throat.
  • Tender lymph nodes.
  • Muscular pain.
  • Multijoint pain.
  • Headaches.
  • Ineffective sleep.
  • Postexertional malaise.

Additionally, any other conditions which cause similar symptoms to those outlined above must be discounted.

Short Term Response to Exercise:

The physical response to exercise is similar to that for severely deconditioned individuals. This may be due to the condition itself, or due to the reduced activity levels in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome sufferers.

Exercise must be carefully managed and progressive in nature. Exercise of too high an intensity can increase levels of fatigue, however, correctly prescribed exercise can have significant beneficial effects.

Long Term Response to Exercise:

The prescription of a progressive and gradual exercise program can see lone term improvements in the majority of symptoms. Due to the relatively low intensity of exercise, physical improvements are only modest, however, the ability to perform activities of daily living and quality of life are improved considerably.

Condition Management:

In addition to a graded exercise program, management focuses on the reduction of the individual symptoms, and is therefore unique to individual cases.

Range of Motion’s Treatment Methodologies:

Range of Motion designs specific exercise programs unique to the individual based on The Range of Motion Model of Health. Modifications to this basic framework are made based on the specific recommendations outlined below.

Aerobic Exercise:

  • Short low intensity sessions with long rests.
  • Two to three days per week.


  • Low intensity compound exercise.
  • Single sets.
  • Two to three days per week.


  • Not to discomfort.
  • 20 seconds per stretch.
  • Three days per week.

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Bailey, S. P., (2003). Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. In: Durstine, J. L., Moore, G. E. (2003), ACSM’s Exercise Management for Persons with Chronic Diseases and Disabilities 2nd Ed. (pp 186-191) American College of Sports Medicine, Human Kinetics.