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What is Fatigue?

Fatigue is the feeling of extreme tiredness and inability to function at your normal level. Fatigue can be mental and physical.
  • Physical Fatigue is where your body does not have the strength or energy to perform tasks which are normally done with ease.
  • Mental fatigue is the inability to concentrate or rationalise thoughts effectively. This can affect a person’s ability to cope within the workplace and home environment.
Fatigue can cause you to become sleepy during the day, lack motivation, lowers your mood, concentration levels and affects your ability to make rational informed decisions.

Practising and assessing safe transfers for clients with extreme fatigue and low activity toleranceAbove: Practising and assessing safe transfers for clients with extreme fatigue and low activity tolerance

What causes Fatigue?

Fatigue can be due to three main factors in a person’s life:
  • Emotional – emotional stresses in life such as bereavement, work commitments, financial circumstances and family stress can cause a person to become physically and emotionally fatigued.
  • Physical – physical demands such as sporting events and lack of sleep can be a main cause of physical fatigue. Conditions such as thyroid, anaemia and obesity can also have an impact on energy levels.
  • Lifestyle– lifestyle stresses such as food and drink consumed, hours worked and caring responsibilities can all cause physical and mental fatigue.
Fatigue can be a short lived episode; this can be as a result of many factors some of which can include:
  • Immobility – this can be due to a hospital stay or injury which reduces mobility.
  • Aging – as a person ages energy levels can decrease, this can lead to the individual becoming fatigued easily.
  • De-conditioning – this can be described as; when a person is physically fit and then does not train for a period of time their fitness levels decrease, therefore becoming fatigued more easily.
There is also a more chronic condition which can affect energy levels; this is known asChronic Fatigue Syndrome.The symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome are:
  • Decreased energy
  • Minimal motivation
  • Low mood
  • Exhaustion
  • Decreased exercise tolerance
There is no known cause for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and no cure, therefore, treatment is based on symptom management.

Physiotherapist led Pilates classes to improve physical conditioning and exercise toleranceAbove: Physiotherapist led Pilates classes to improve physical conditioning and exercise tolerance

How can Physiotherapy help?

Physiotherapy can assist with the symptoms and management of fatigue. Physiotherapists at can offer treatment for you is you are suffering from fatigue. Some of the treatments which can assist with symptom management can include:
  • Increasing exercise tolerance
  • Providing joint pain relief
  • Lifestyle advice
  • Self management strategies

What Physiotherapy treatments can be expected for fatigue?

Upon assessment the Physiotherapist from will decide upon the most suitable treatment programme for you. This may include:


Fatigue can affect a person’s ability to function at their previous level physically and mentally. If intervention is not implemented then the condition could deteriorate affecting their personal and professional life and relationships. Physiotherapists from can offer advice, support and treatment to those who feel fatigue is affecting their life. Please contact us or call 0330 088 7800 to arrange an appointment.

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