Osteopathy and Chronic Fatigue :
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or M.E. (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) presents itself in many different ways with symptoms ranging from headaches to intense lethargy, muscular pains to mental confusion, and general weakness to disturbed sleep. All sufferers of this debilitating illness appear to have upper back problems, either through previous injury or chronic postural strain. It has been suggested that the chronic stiffness leads to irritation of the Sympathetic Nervous System with which this area is closely linked. The lymphatic vessels, which form the body’s natural waste disposal system, eventually become involved as a result of the chronic tension and consequent breakdown in control from the sympathetic nerves. The M.E. sufferer is left with a clogged and toxic lymphatic system, chronic muscular tension patterns over the upper back and rib cage and a poor breathing mechanism. The Osteopath may use a combination of structural and cranial techniques to encourage the body to stimulate the healing response. Osteopathy alone will not ‘cure’ M.E. The treatment has to be backed up with a programme of self help measures which may include simple exercise regimes such as yoga or pilates, postural advice, hydrotherapy, nutrition and homeopathy. No two M.E. sufferers are the same and treatment programmes have to be tailored to the individual needs of each patient. Recovery takes time with such a chronic condition but in each case full involvement in the programme is encouraged, as this will speed the recovery process.