Restless Leg Syndrome Can Be Treated
Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a condition in which your legs feel extremely uncomfortable while you're sitting or lying down. It makes you feel like getting up and moving around. When you do so, the unpleasant feeling of restless legs syndrome temporarily goes away.
Restless legs syndrome can begin at any age and generally worsens as you get older. Women are more likely than men to develop this condition. Restless legs syndrome can disrupt sleep; leading to daytime drowsiness and make traveling difficult. Learn More
Many healthcare professionals have found that Restless Leg Syndrome symptoms can be eliminated with sustained results. With their innovative treatment approaches, patients can experience symptom elimination in 2 weeks to 1 month for mild and moderate conditions.
The healthcare professionals listed here have published their case studies. You can contact them for help or contact us for doctors near you.
List of healthcare professionals who have published clinical studies and provide treatment for Restless Leg Syndrome:
What is Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)?
Restless legs syndrome (RLS) or Willis-Ekbom disease is a neurological disorder characterized by an irresistible urge to move one's body to stop uncomfortable or odd sensations. It most commonly affects the legs, but can affect the arms, torso, and even phantom limbs. Moving the affected body part modulates the sensations, providing temporary relief.
RLS sensations can most closely be compared to an itching or tickling in the muscles, like "an itch you cannot scratch" or an unpleasant "tickle that won't stop." The sensations typically begin or intensify during quiet wakefulness, such as when relaxing, reading, studying, or trying to sleep. In addition, most individuals with RLS have limb jerking during sleep, which is an objective physiologic marker of the disorder and is associated with sleep disruption. Some controversy surrounds the marketing of drug treatments for RLS. It is a "spectrum" disease with some people experiencing only a minor annoyance and others experiencing
major disruption of sleep and significant impairments in quality of life.
Signs and symptoms
The sensationsand the need to movemay return immediately after ceasing movement or at a later time. RLS may start at any age, including childhood, and is a progressive disease for some, while the symptoms may remit in others.
The sensations are unusual and unlike other common sensations. Those with RLS have a hard time describing them, using words like: uncomfortable, "antsy", electrical, creeping, painful, itching, pins and needles, pulling, creepy-crawly, ants inside the legs and numbness. It is sometimes described similar to a limb "falling asleep". The sensation and the urge can occur in any body part; the most cited location is legs, followed by arms. Some people have little or no sensation, yet still have a strong urge to move.
Movement usually brings immediate relief, although temporary and partial. Walking is most common; however, stretching, yoga, biking, or other physical activity may relieve the symptoms. Continuous, fast up-and-down movements of the leg, and/or rapidly moving the legs toward then away from each other, may keep sensations at bay without having to walk. Specific movements may be unique to each person. Sitting or lying down (reading, plane ride, watching TV) can trigger the sensations and urge to move. Severity depends on the severity of the persons RLS, the degree of restfulness, duration of the inactivity, etc.Some experience RLS only at bedtime, while others experience it throughout the day and night. Most sufferers experience the worst symptoms in the evening and the least in the morning.The symptoms of RLS can make sleeping difficult for many.
Treatment of restless legs syndrome involves identifying the cause of symptoms when possible. The treatment process is designed to reduce symptoms, including decreasing the number of nights with RLS
symptoms, the severity of RLS symptoms and nighttime awakenings. Improving the quality of life is another goal in treatment. This means improving overall quality of life, decreasing daytime somnolence, and improving the quality of sleep. All of these goals are taken care of through nonpharmacologic and pharmacologic therapies. Pharmacotherapy involves dopamine agonists as first line drugs for daily restless legs syndrome; gabapentin and opioids for treatment of resistant cases.
Secondary RLS may be cured if precipitating medical conditions (anemia, venous disorder) are managed effectively. Secondary conditions causing RLS include iron deficiency, varicose veins, and thyroid problems. One thing that may worsen the symptoms is fatigue. Therefore using relaxation techniques, soaking in a warm bath or massaging the legs can all help aid in relaxation and relief of symptoms. Another technique is avoiding caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco. Also exercising every day and maintaining a schedule of relaxation and avoiding heavy meals before bed will all help with relief of symptoms. These techniques can be used with medication or just by themselves for those who do not want medication. For symptoms that occur in the evening patients may find that activities that alert the mind like crossword puzzles, and video games may
reduce symptoms. Many patients may also benefit from RLS support groups.
Stretching and shaking legs
Stretching the leg muscles can bring relief lasting from seconds to days. Walking around brings relief also. Tiredness can be a factor and some sufferers may find going to bed usually stops the discomfort. Bouncing or shaking the legs/feet in an up and down motion, with the ball of the foot on the floor when sitting down
may bring temporary relief.
According to some guidelines, all people with RLS should have their serum ferritin level tested. The ferritin level, a measure of the body's iron stores, should be at least 50 g for those with RLS. Oral iron supplements, taken under a doctor's care, can increase ferritin levels. For some people, increasing ferritin will eliminate or reduce RLS symptoms. A ferritin level of 50 g is not sufficient for some sufferers and increasing the level to 80 g may further reduce symptoms. However, at least 40% of people will not notice
any improvement. It is dangerous to take iron supplements without first having ferritin levels tested, as many people with RLS do not have low ferritin and taking iron when it is not called for can cause iron overload disorder, potentially a very dangerous condition.
For those whose RLS disrupts or prevents sleep or regular daily activities, medication may be required. Quinine is frequently used off label to treat RLS, but is not recommended by the FDA due to its risk of serious hematological side effects.
Adopted from wikipedia.com