Timed loaded standing in female chronic fatigue syndrome compared with other populations
Faculty of Sciences. Biology
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Journal of rehabilitation research and development. - Washington, D.C.
, p. 21-29
University of Antwerp
Patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), like patients with osteoporosis, have similar difficulties in standing and sitting. The aim of the study was to compare combined trunk and arm endurance among women with CFS (n = 72), women with osteoporosis (n = 30), nondisabled women (n = 55), and women from non-industrialized countries (n = 58) using the timed loaded standing (TLS) test. TLS measures how long a person can hold a 1 kg dumbbell in each hand in front of him or her with straight arms. TLS was higher in the industrialized nondisabled population than in the non-industrialized study population (p < 0.001) and in patients with osteoporosis (p = 0.002). TLS was lower in patients with CFS than in nondisabled controls (p < 0.001). After adjusting for age, body height, and weight, combined trunk and arm endurance was even lower in CFS than in osteoporotic patients more than 25 yr old (p < 0.001). In CFS, TLS was lower than in the non-industrialized group (p = 0.02). Since only women were studied, external validity of the results is limited to adult female patients with CFS. TLS revealed a specific biomechanical weakness in CFS patients that can be taken into account from the onset of a rehabilitation program. We propose that influencing the quality, rather than the quantity, of movement could be used in the rehabilitation.