Gravity-induced exercise intervention in an individual with chronic fatigue syndrome/ myalgic encephalomyeltis and postural tachycardia syndrome: a case report, by Robert Ballantine, Victoria Strassheim, Julia Newton in International Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation 2019 vol 26,#5
Chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyeltis is a condition of complex nature, characterised by unexplained disabling fatigue and a combination of non-specific accompanying symptoms.
Individuals with chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyeltis frequently present
with debilitating orthostatic symptoms, which may fall under the umbrella of postural tachycardia syndrome. Postural tachycardia syndrome is underpinned by autonomic nervous system dysfunction. The gravitational deconditioning that occurs in those severely affected by chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyeltis alongside postural
tachycardia syndrome has been suggested as a key focus for interventions in this group.
This case report documents the evaluation and rationale behind a novel gravity-induced exercise intervention to improve the symptoms of a 44-year-old female severely affected by chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyeltis and postural tachycardia syndrome, who had been bedbound for 10-15 years.
An exercise intervention was designed to challenge and therefore improve key areas of autonomic nervous system regulation in the presence of gravity. It contained seven different exercises conducted once a month in a class over a 6-month period.
Fatigue impact score, activity levels and heart rate upon standing, as detected by an active stand test, improved during the exercise intervention and at follow up.
Gravity-induced exercise intervention can have a positive effect on an individual severely affected by Chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyeltis alongside postural tachycardia syndrome.