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How can a physical assessment help diagnose CFS / ME?



During the initial consultation with an osteopath specialising in the Perrin Technique in London, the practitioner conducts a physical examination which is to assess for any of the physical signs which Dr Ray Perrin has observed in his patients with CFS / ME. These physical signs include postural/mechanical disturbances of the thoracic spine, breast varicosities, tender Perrin’s point around the breast tissue, tender coeliac plexus and dampened cranial flow. This manual examination alongside a thorough case history can be used by Dr Ray Perrin and other advanced Perrin practitioners to diagnose CFS / ME.


In 2017, The British Medical Journal published a study ​with support from the NHS trusts which assessed individuals using 5 physical signs to establish if they could be used in assisting current diagnostic tools of CFS / ME. A total of 94 patients were assessed and took part in the study; 52 patients with CFS / ME and 42 non-CFS / ME healthy controls. The study found when experienced doctors used the standard clinical rheumatological and neurological examinations, only 44% of CFS / ME patients were diagnosed with the conditions compared to 86% CFS / ME patients correctly diagnosed using The Perrin Technique physical assessment. This clearly shows using these physical signs improves the accuracy of a CFS / ME diagnosis.


There is currently no universal diagnosis for CFS / ME; it is generally diagnosed by excluding other conditions with similar symptoms which often makes a diagnosis of CFS / ME extremely slow and difficult to achieve. There has been just this one, singular study conducted so far on using The Perrin Technique to assist diagnosis of CFS / ME so more studies are needed in larger population groups. However, this evidence based recognition is a positive step in the right direction for CFS / ME sufferers who continue to search for a diagnosis. Early diagnosis is essential to ensure prompt treatment using the Perrin Technique to bring relief and help alleviate symptoms.