Restless Leg Syndrome: Sensations and Treatments
Published : 2009-01-02 - Updated : 2020-10-08
Author : Disabled World - Contact: Disabled World (www.disabled-world.com)
Synopsis* : Restless legs syndrome (RLS, Wittmaack-Ekbom's syndrome, or sometimes referred to as Nocturnal myoclonus) is a condition that is characterized by an irresistible urge to move your legs. Restless Leg Syndrome is described as uncontrollable urges to move the limbs to stop uncomfortable or odd sensations in the body, most commonly in the legs, but can also be in the arms and torso. RLS has been described as: uncomfortable, antsy, electrical, creeping, painful, itching, pins and needles, pulling, creepy-crawly, ants inside the legs, and other related terms.
Restless Leg Syndrome is described as uncontrollable urges to move the limbs to stop uncomfortable or odd sensations in the body, most commonly in the legs, but can also be in the arms and torso. The condition usually makes you feel like getting up and moving around. In doing so, the unpleasant feeling goes away. Movement will usually bring immediate relief, however, often only temporary and partial. Walking is most common; however, doing stretches, yoga, biking, or other physical activity may relieve the symptoms.
The disorder affects both sexes, can begin at any age and may worsen as you get older. Restless legs syndrome can disrupt sleep leading to daytime drowsiness and make traveling difficult.
Restless legs syndrome may affect as many as 12 million Americans. The sensations are unusual and unlike other common sensations, and those with RLS have a hard time describing them. People use words such as: uncomfortable, antsy, electrical, creeping, painful, itching, pins and needles, pulling, creepy-crawly, ants inside the legs, and many others.
A number of simple self-care steps and lifestyle changes may benefit you. Medications may also help people with restless legs syndrome. Most often, treatments are geared towards alleviating the symptoms of the condition. Generally doctors suggest a change in lifestyle and taking prescription drugs and/or supplements to relieve the symptoms. The treatment options for Restless Legs Syndrome include the following:
- Health practitioners often advise those who suffer from RLS to stop or even reduce consumption of tobacco products, caffeine and alcohol to prevent worsening of the symptoms.
- Develop a regular sleep schedule in order to regulate your sleeping and waking cycle.
- Doing some moderate exercises or engaging in activities such as walking, yoga or stretching at bedtime is suggested and has proven to help prevent some occurrences of the symptoms
- Taking cold or hot baths and massaging the legs or using ice packs or heating pads can be done to relax the muscles in the affected areas.
- Doctors may also advise you to take vitamin and mineral supplements to increase your body's iron, foliate and magnesium levels. It has been observed that RLS generally does not occur in people who have high levels of these minerals.
For cases where the symptoms are too severe for other remedies to provide comfort, doctors can prescribe one of the following drugs:
- Benzodiazepines: They tend to depress one's central nervous system in order for sufferers to be able to sleep better despite the symptoms. However, those who have sleep apnea should not use them.
- Dopaminergic agents: These are drugs that are most often prescribed for Parkinson's disease patients. They have also proven to reduce symptoms of RLS and leg movements at night.
- Opoids: These are relaxants or painkillers that can often help those who suffer from severe symptoms.
About the Author
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Related Restless Legs Documents
- 1: Restless Leg Syndrome: Sensations and Treatments : Restless legs syndrome (RLS, Wittmaack-Ekbom's syndrome, or sometimes referred to as Nocturnal myoclonus) is a condition that is characterized by an irresistible urge to move your legs.
- 2: Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) Linked to Cardiovascular Disease : Research showing that RLS is a serious condition with increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
- 3: Restless Leg Syndrome Basics : Whenever a person sits down or lays down at night their legs start to feel as if pins and needles are sticking them or suffer a creepy crawling feeling.
- 4: Horizant for Restless Legs Syndrome FDA Approved : FDA approved drug Horizant provides significant help in treating restless legs syndrome symptoms.
- 5: Parkinson's Drug Could Treat Restless Leg Syndrome : A drug prescribed for Parkinsons disease may also treat restless leg syndrome without the adverse side effects of current therapies.
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Journal: Disabled World. Language: English (U.S.). Author: Disabled World. Electronic Publication Date: 2009-01-02 - Revised: 2020-10-08. Title: Restless Leg Syndrome: Sensations and Treatments, Source: <a href=https://www.disabled-world.com/health/neurology/sleepdisorders/restlesslegsyndrome/rls.php>Restless Leg Syndrome: Sensations and Treatments</a>. Retrieved 2021-04-16, from https://www.disabled-world.com/health/neurology/sleepdisorders/restlesslegsyndrome/rls.php - Reference: DW#105-179.