Сhronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is the most common name given to a variably debilitating disorder or disorders generally defined by persistent fatigue unrelated to exertion, not substantially relieved by rest and accompanied by the presence of other specific symptoms for a minimum of six months.
Many patients do not fully recover from CFS even with treatment, and there is no universally effective curative option. Diets, physiotherapy, dietary supplements, antidepressants, pain killers, pacing, and complementary and alternative medicine have been suggested as ways of managing CFS. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and graded exercise therapy (GET) have shown moderate effectiveness for many patients in multiple randomized controlled trials. As many of the CBT and GET studies required patients to visit a clinic, severely affected patients may have been excluded. Patient surveys have indicated that pacing is reported to be the most helpful intervention.
Pacing is an energy management strategy which encourages behavioral change while acknowledging patient fluctuations in symptom severity and delayed exercise recovery. Patients are advised to set manageable daily activity/exercise goals and balance activity and rest to avoid over-exertion which may worsen symptoms. Those able to function within their individual limits are encouraged to gradually increase activity and exercise levels while maintaining established energy management techniques. The goal is to gradually increase the level of routine functioning of the individual.