Lessons from Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for Long COVID

Part 2: Physiological characteristics during acute exercise are abnormal in people with Postexertional Symptom Exacerbation, by Todd E Davenport, Staci R Stevens, Jared Stevens, Christopher R Snell, J Mark Van Ness in JOSPT, February 9, 2022 [https://doi.org/10.2519/jospt.blog.20220209]


Blog post extract:

In a previous post on the JOSPT Blog, we outlined the connection between postacute sequalae to novel coronavirus (long COVID) and myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) through their common clinical presentation: postexertional symptom exacerbation (PESE). PESE suggests the presence of abnormal physiological responses to exercise/activity. These physiological responses may be measured using cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET), which allows for careful characterization of cardiac, pulmonary, and metabolic functioning during exercise. We will review the characteristic findings on CPET in people with PESE.


This post reviewed evidence from systems-level physiology that indicates important differences in physiological responses to acute exercise between people with deconditioning compared to people with PESE. Clearly, PESE is not deconditioning. Rather, physiological changes may be related to autonomic dysfunction, as well as direct and indirect effects of pathogenic infection, such as the novel coronavirus infection in long COVID. Insights into the physiology of PESE may be used to evaluate and treat people with long COVID and ME/CFS, as well as shape future rehabilitation research and safe clinical practices.

Read full blog post

Read Part 1: Postexertional Symptom Exacerbation is an Abnormal Response to Exercise/Activity

Read Part 3: “Energy System First Aid” for People With Post Exertional Symptom Exacerbation

Read Part 4: Heart Rate Monitoring to Manage Postexertional Symptom Exacerbation


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