Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Treatment and Chronic Pain Management

A quick introduction to chronic illness

Chronic fatigue syndrome and chronic pain can be severely life-limiting, affecting your ability to enjoy social events, sports and exercise or even a daily walk through the park. Psymplicity can support you in managing your symptoms, helping you get back to a more fulfilling life without constant pain or exhaustion:

  • Get the right diagnosis and a holistic treatment plan designed to help you manage chronic fatigue or pain
  • Receive tailored treatment to develop healthier beliefs surrounding your condition and coping strategies to relieve symptoms of pain and fatigue
  • Alleviate pain-related anxiety, enjoy improved sleep and engage in more activities without fatigue getting in the way
  • We don’t just work with you to treat the symptoms; our holistic approach means you’ll have the tools you need to effectively manage chronic fatigue or pain.

What is chronic fatigue syndrome and how is it different from chronic pain?

Chronic pain and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) are separate conditions, but what they have in common is that they are long-term illnesses that can severely impact quality of life and restrict activities. Here, we explore the differences between the two conditions.

How do chronic pain management and chronic fatigue syndrome treatment work?

Both chronic pain and chronic fatigue syndrome cannot be cured, but treatment can help you manage and relieve life-limiting symptoms. With the right treatment, patients can go on to enjoy more activities and lead more fulfilling lives without pain or fatigue becoming unbearable, which can be transformative for those who typically struggle with tasks or activities others take for granted. Our personalised approach ensures that you receive the most suitable and effective treatment for chronic pain or fatigue.

What are the symptoms of chronic pain and chronic fatigue?

Chronic pain and chronic fatigue syndrome share symptoms in common, including extreme fatigue, while chronic pain itself can be a symptom of CFS. We look at the symptoms of each and their impact on those with the illnesses.

Meet our chronic pain and chronic fatigue syndrome treatment specialists

Our chronic fatigue and chronic pain specialists have decades of combined experience in diagnosing and treating chronic pain and fatigue and have practised in leading institutions in the UK and beyond. Experts in their field, they are dedicated to keeping up to date with all the latest developments in psychiatry to deliver the best care for you — because we know that the right treatment combination can be truly transformative.

What is chronic fatigue syndrome and how is it different from chronic pain?

We all have days when we feel rundown or tired, but few realise the severity of chronic fatigue and how it can make even getting out of bed difficult. You might have been dismissed by friends and family and even doctors, and told to get more rest or change your diet. The truth is that chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), is a serious condition with wide-reaching effects:

Mild chronic fatigue: Those with mild CFS will typically still be able to socialise and carry out day-to-day activities but will find they need to rest frequently.

Moderate chronic fatigue: Moderate chronic fatigue syndrome can require an individual to make significant changes to accommodate the illness, including reducing work hours, which can affect their independence and self-esteem.

Severe chronic fatigue: At its most severe, CFS can be extremely debilitating, restricting the activities an individual can do independently. In some cases, they may even be bed-ridden.

Because chronic fatigue syndrome can cause joint and muscle pain, it’s often confused with chronic pain. Like chronic fatigue, chronic pain is characterised by severe fatigue, along with aching joints and a dull, sharp or burning pain. It can also vary in severity, from mild pain that makes it difficult to sleep to severe pain that never goes away. As a result, many individuals with chronic pain are prone to mood swings, frustration and depression. At Psymplicity, we can help you understand your symptoms and deal with them in an efficient, healthy way tailored to you.

Any consistent pain that has lasted longer than six months can be classed as chronic pain, and like chronic fatigue syndrome, it can be difficult to truly appreciate without experiencing it every day for a long period. It can feel like being stuck in a dark and despairing place with no relief in sight, only made worse when their condition is not taken seriously.

Both illnesses can have a severe impact and are long-lasting, but chronic pain is often dominated by consistent physical pain, and while chronic fatigue syndrome can cause pain, its tell-tale signs are constant exhaustion or getting tired rapidly, along with a compromised immune system, which can lead to frequent flu-like symptoms and increased vulnerability to bugs.

While CFS and chronic pain aren’t curable conditions, they are treatable. With treatments like CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) and ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy), people with these conditions can get better over time and enjoy activities they never thought they’d be able to before treatment.

What are the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome and chronic pain?

Chronic fatigue syndrome and chronic pain share many symptoms, many of which are as a result of frustration at their situation and inability to do tasks and engage in activities they’d otherwise enjoy. The most common symptoms of CFS and chronic pain include:

Chronic pain

Chronic fatigue syndrome

People with chronic fatigue syndrome might also feel constantly blocked up, as if they have a cold, get sick or dizzy easily, and suffer digestive issues, such as irritable bowel syndrome. 

For people with either illness, the things we take for granted, like getting dressed in the morning, taking the dog for a walk or popping to the shop for a loaf of bread can be a huge struggle and take mammoth amounts of determination and courage.

If chronic pain is the cause of symptoms, an individual might be lucky enough to see a sympathetic doctor who prescribes strong painkillers, but they rarely work. Worse still, the stress of chronic pain can exacerbate the illness further, as it dulls the body’s ability to release endorphins: our natural painkiller. At Psymplicity, our experts know just how to approach each case of chronic fatigue and pain, so you can rest assured you’re in safe, reliable hands.

The Psymplicity approach to chronic pain management and chronic fatigue syndrome treatment

At Psymplicity, we provide an integrated approach to chronic pain management and chronic fatigue syndrome. Both will affect individuals in unique ways, so there is no “standard” approach to treatment — only what is best suited to you and the severity of your chronic pain or chronic fatigue. 

Our specialists will begin by carrying out a thorough assessment of your symptoms to reach the right diagnosis. This assessment will consider the frequency and intensity of your pain and fatigue and how long you have been suffering. If other conditions are exacerbated or directly caused by these illnesses, such as anxiety, depression or sleep problems, we will factor this into your personalised treatment plan and may prescribe counselling or medication to help you on your journey to a better, more fulfilling life.

If you have chronic fatigue syndrome, there are a range of treatments we may suggest. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can be effective for alleviating stress caused by CFS and stopping it from making your current symptoms worse. CBT can also help you identify triggers for fatigue and reframe any negative beliefs around your condition. If, for example, you feel you’ll never be able to exercise because you feel so weak and tired, CBT can help replace this unhelpful thought with something more positive that can actually support recovery. Our in-house CBT therapists can be on hand to support you throughout your treatment.

Graded exercise therapy (GET) may also be prescribed for CFS. This structured exercise programme involves very gradually raising your heart rate, such as through swimming or a gentle walk. Swimming is particularly well-suited to those with moderate or severe fatigue, as the water supports the body. The aim of GET is to adjust to carrying out more physical activity. Your therapist may set long and short-term goals such as walking to the shops or planting some flowers in the garden. Psymplicity have plenty of experience helping patients manage their symptoms with the help of GET, providing guidance and support from start to finish. 

For chronic pain, CBT can also be effective. We deliver Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), which is an innovative cognitive-behavioral therapy centred around embracing and accepting chronic pain and the way it makes you feel. It works on the premise that fighting or feeling guilty about chronic pain, or making continual attempts to minimise or control pain can actually exacerbate symptoms. By mindfully observing and even being willing to experience these unwanted sensations — even though it may seem counterintuitive —  you can enjoy a rich, fulfilling life alongside the pain you may be feeling, allowing you to engage in activities you enjoy or participate in situations you’d otherwise avoid. 

Your chronic pain management or chronic fatigue treatment plan will be tailored to you, your needs and the severity of your condition, and we will always put you first, moving at a pace that is comfortable for you.

Your chronic pain or chronic fatigue syndrome treatment plan

Following your in-depth assessment and subsequent chronic pain or chronic fatigue syndrome diagnosis, you’ll benefit from a personalised and balanced treatment approach that prioritises managing your symptoms and reducing the impact of the condition on your life.

Step One

To ensure a perfectly tailored treatment plan, we begin with a professional diagnosis of your chronic condition and produce a personalised assessment report.

Step Two

Our experts will determine the most effective treatment for you, whether prescribing medication or providing CBT sessions to ease symptoms and develop strategies that help you cope with your chronic pain or fatigue.

Step Three

Patients with chronic fatigue or chronic pain need continued care and support, which is why we recommend follow-up appointments to review progress, discuss any concerns and adjust treatment as we walk with you on your path to recovery.

Meet our specialists in chronic pain and chronic fatigue

Our chronic pain management and chronic fatigue syndrome treatment specialists are among the best in their field, having successfully treated the symptoms of chronic pain, chronic fatigue and related conditions for decades. We know that there is no one-size-fits-all approach and that to provide the transformation so many of our clients enjoy requires a bespoke, holistic plan — one we’re confident you won’t find anywhere else.

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