Background: Patients with myalgic encephalomyelitis / chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) sometimes coincide with stiffness of cervical muscles. This study examined the effect of local modulation of the cervical muscles on ME/CFS and the underlying mechanism.
Methods: In total, 1,226 inpatients with ME/CFS who were resistant to outpatient care were enrolled in this study for 11 years. All patients underwent daily physical therapies to the cervical muscles during hospitalization. Self-rated records documenting the presence and absence of ME/CFS and the representative eight disorders that frequently accompany it at admission and discharge were compared. The pupil diameter was also measured to examine involvement of autonomic nervous system function.
Results: The recovery rate of ME/CFS after local therapy was 55.5%, and did not differ significantly by sex, age strata, and hospitalization period. The recovery rates of the eight disorders were variable (36.6－86.9%); however, those of ME/CFS in the disorder subpopulations were similar (52.3－55.8%). The recovery rates of all disorders showed strong associations with that of ME/CFS (p<0.001). The pupil diameter was decreased at discharge, and the change was significantly higher in the ME/CFS-recovered patients than ME/CFS-unrecovered patients in the total population and the subpopulations stratified by sex, age, and hospitalization period.
Conclusions: Local therapy to the cervical muscles led to recovery in more than half of patients with ME/CFS, at least partly through amelioration of the autonomic nervous system. There may be a causal relationship between recoveries of ME/CFS and these related whole-body disorders.
Saw this study posted over on S4ME. It claims over 50% recovery from cervical therapy involving electrical stimulation and IR light.
Seems excessively high level of recovery, it seems recovery is based on autonomic symptoms and not PEM. Still very interesting to me.
"Notably, the patients enrolled in this study had already completed conventional outpatient care including resting at home for 12-91 days (mean, 49.3 days) before the hospitalization and were resistant to that care. Therefore, it seems improbable that more than half of the patients with ME/CFS would recover via resting alone, even during hospitalization. "
Does this mean, the patients in this study have had CFS for only a couple weeks? or that they had separate care that involved resting for a couple of weeks? If the former then the 50% could be people randomly getting over a short term illness.
Don't know though as I have only skimmed the paper.