Gait abnormalities in chronic fatigue syndrome

J Neurol Sci. 1995 Aug;131(2):156-61. doi: 10.1016/0022-510x(95)00108-e.


To evaluate our clinical impression that patients with the chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) did not walk normally, we assessed gait kinematics at slow walking speeds (i.e., 0.45, 0.89 and 1.34 m/sec) and 30 m run time speeds on CFS patients and on a comparison group of sedentary controls. Run time was significantly slower for CFS than control subjects (p < 0.001). There was a significant interaction (p < 0.01) between group and speed for maximum hip angle during stance and swing phase with hip angle being significantly larger at 1.34 m/sec for CFS than controls subjects for both cases (p < 0.05). Knee flexion during stance and swing phases was significantly larger for controls than CFS subjects at 0.45 m/sec (p < 0.01). Ratio of stride length divided by leg length was significantly larger for the control subjects than for the CFS subjects with differences occurring at 0.45 and 0.89 m/sec (p < 0.01) but not 1.34 m/sec. The data indicate that CFS patients have gait abnormalities when compared to sedentary controls. These could be due to balance problems, muscle weakness, or central nervous system dysfunction; deciding which will require further research. Evaluation of gait may be a useful tool to measure outcome following therapeutic interventions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic / metabolism
  • Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Gait / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Kinesiology, Applied
  • Male
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Running
  • Time Factors
  • Walking