Post-exertional malaise is a cardinal symptom of myalgic encephalomyelitis and chronic fatigue syndrome. There are two differing focuses when defining post-exertional malaise: a generalized, full-body fatigue and a muscle-specific fatigue.
This study aimed to discern whether post-exertional malaise is a unified construct or whether it is composed of two smaller constructs, muscle fatigue and generalized fatigue. An exploratory factor analysis was conducted on several symptoms that assess post-exertional malaise. The results suggest that post-exertional malaise is composed of two empirically different experiences, one for generalized fatigue and one for muscle-specific fatigue.
Deconstructing post-exertional malaise: An exploratory factor analysis, by Stephanie L McManimen, Madison L Sunnquist, Leonard A Jason in J Health Psychol August 24, 2016