ME in Action #millionsmissing
On Saturday 12th May, it was International ME Awareness Day. One of our Physiotherapists attended an awareness event in London called #millionsmissing. Here she writes about the meaning behind the event and explains what ME is and how Physiotherapy can help.
“ME or Myalgic Encephalomyelitis is close to my heart. My best friend has suffered with ME for 19 years. I have seen her daily struggle. I have treated patients with ME too and it is a condition that is poorly understood, under-funded, under-researched and often has a stigma attached to it, which I know for most ME sufferers is one of the most difficult things to deal with. To not be believed that you are feeling very unwell by Health Professionals adds to the isolation people with ME can feel.
NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) have recognised that the physical symptoms of ME can be as disabling as multiple sclerosis, systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, congestive heart failure and other chronic conditions. Symptoms can include severe pain, extreme sensitivity to light and noise, cognitive impairment, orthostatic dysfunction (inability to regulate blood pressure), post-exertional malaise (feeling unwell after any activity), migraines, IBS, sickness and nausea, dizziness, unrefreshing sleep, fever and night sweats. “Symptoms follow a characteristic pattern of variability (often fluctuating throughout the course of a day) and chronicity. Patients will often describe how they experience ‘good days’ and ‘bad days’, with fluctuations in severity being influenced by physical activity, stress, infections and temperature excesses” (ME Association).
In severe cases of ME, people are bed bound for months or years. These people are missing from life, hence the #millionsmissing campaign. The campaign is to raise awareness that these people need urgent help and support. They need funding for biomedical research in order to find a way to diagnose and treat this debilitating condition. Here are some words from the people with ME who were missing from the event as they were at home, unwell in bed…
Graded Exercise Therapy (GET) is one of the most common ‘prescribed’ treatments for ME/CFS. However, there is significant evidence that for many people with ME/CFS, graded exercise leads to worsening symptoms and can even lead to a relapse. There is currently much debate around the evidence for GET, with the General Medical Council being urged to investigate the many flaws that have been found in a UK trial called PACE, which advocates both CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) and GET for ME/CFS patients.
When it comes to Physiotherapy for people with ME/CFS, a careful assessment is required. Pushing someone too much can make things worse so each session must be carefully monitored. Programmes need to be tailored for each individual depending on the severity of their condition.”
At Silver Physiotherapy, be assured that we understand this condition and we will listen to and work with your body. We will not push you beyond your limitations.
Call us now on 02036378988 to book an appointment now so that SilverPhysio can tailor you treatment of ME.