Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Chronic Low Back Pain

Subject: Public Health
Pages: 2
Words: 652
Reading time:
3 min
Study level: Master


Meeus et al. (2010) investigate the standard pain thresholds for patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and Chronic Low Back Pain (CLPB) in a controlled experiment. The switch in the baseline ache following regular exercise and the association with an exercise-prompted increment of nitric acid is also examined in the study. The study method involved a weight training exercise and a blood test for nitric oxide afterward. Twenty-six patients with CFS, 21 patients with CLPB, and thirty-one control subjects participated in the survey. Regarding the significance of the study by Meeus et al. (2010), it extended the findings regarding the impacts of exercises on pain for CFS patients. Moreover, the study by Meeus et al. (2010) confirmed the results of the only previous pilot study regarding the analysis of pain response concerning exercise in patients with CLBP. No treatments or prescriptions were featured in this study.


All participants were subjected to algometry and venous blood sampling to qualify. The participants were aged between 18 and 65 years with the capacity to perform the bicycle test. An analog Fisher ergometer and bicycle ergometers were used in this study. The participants were to engage in a submaximal aerobic bicycle test followed by blood sampling (Meeus et al., 2010). The study indicated lower pain thresholds for CLPB patients than for CFS and healthy participants before the exercise. After the training exercise, the pain threshold for CFS patients decreased while it elevated for CLPB and healthy patients. No relationship between pain threshold and nitric oxide was established for either group.

Nijs et al. (2012) study examines the relationship between catastrophic thinking and stair climbing performance for people with CFS. The study is significant for developing rehabilitation to assist people with CFS to start performing stair climbing activities they previously assumed to be challenging evoking symptom flares. A questionnaire and physical experimentation of samples was the method of experimentation used in the survey. The questionnaire assesses the report of fatigue severity in 19 signs of CFS whereas physical examination compares the patients’ pre-test and post-test symptoms. Subjects of the research included 21 women with CFS aged between 24-60, who were recruited from the Reference Centre for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome of the University Hospital of Antwerp, Belgium. The patients were not exposed to any treatment and were not prescribed anything.

In the experimentation, the patients rated the anticipated pain levels after the task on the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS). Additionally, the participants were to fill out the Medical Outcomes Short Form 36 (SF-36) fitness evaluation, Checklist Individual Strength (CIS), a list of CFS signs, and the Tampa Scale for Fatigue (TS-fatigue) to examine the severity of fatigue and pain. VAS, TS fatigue, Tampa Scale Kinesiophobia Version of CFS (TSK-CFS), and Jacob-Fatigue Catastrophizing Scale (J-FCS) are the equipment used in the study (Nijs et al., 2012). The physical exercise involved stair climbing with a comparison of pre-test and post-test heartbeat rates to identify CFS symptoms.

After the participants filled out the questionnaire, they were to climb and descend two floors of stairs consistently, and their heart rate was monitored during the exercise. The results indicated that stair climbing is threatening to people with CFS; however, the severity of the 19 CFS symptoms does not elevate after the stair climbing exercise. Both TSK-CFS and TS-fatigue results indicate that daily activities did not influence fatigue and catastrophizing for CFS patients.


Both articles are comprehensible to understand how CFS symptoms relate to exercises, pain threshold, and catastrophic thinking. The articles have given me more insight into how CFS patients respond to pain and how exercising to produce nitric oxide can improve the pain threshold. The authors accomplish their purpose by using scientifically verified methods to establish the results of all parameters they were testing. I support the evidence of the articles, and I can apply the knowledge in conducting evidence-based research and assisting patients with CFS in my practice.


Meeus, M., Roussel, N.A., Truijen, S., & Nijs, J. (2010). Reduced pressure pain thresholds in response to exercise in chronic fatigue syndrome but not in chronic low back pain: An experimental study. Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine, 42(9), 884-890.

Nijs, J., Meeus, M., Heins, M., Knoop, H., Moorkens, G., & Bleijenberg, G. (2012). Kinesiophobia, catastrophizing and anticipated symptoms before stair climbing in chronic fatigue syndrome: An experimental study. Disability and Rehabilitation, 34(15), 1299-1305.