Todd Davenport on Post-Exertional Symptom Exacerbation in Long Covid and ME/CFS

By David Tuller, DrPH

Todd Davenport is a professor of physical therapy at University of the Pacific in Stockton, California. He is also part of a research team from Workwell Foundation, an exercise physiology center in Ripon, California, that pioneered the use of 2-day cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET) to document the core ME and ME/CFS symptom of post-exertional malaise (PEM). In its new ME/CFS guidelines, the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence also refers to this phenomenon as post-exertional symptom exacerbation (PESE).

In February, the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy published a four-part blog series from Davenport and his Workwell colleagues called “Lessons From Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for Long COVID.” The series focused specifically on PEM, or PESE, as a defining characteristic of ME/CFS and of many cases falling into the broad long Covid category.

In April, I spoke with Davenport about the key points covered in the blog series. At the time, I put it up on youtube and (I’m pretty sure) on Facebook, but I apparently forgot to post it on Virology Blog. So here it is. The discussion is obviously still highly relevant.