Restless Leg Syndrome At a Glance



Day 56: Growing Pains aka Restless Leg Syndrom...
Image by Brymo via Flickr

The individual with restless leg syndrome is plagued by uncomfortable sensations in the limbs and sometimes the trunk of the body. These symptoms worsen during the evening or at night while the person is trying to sleep. This individual often suffers from insomnia because of the condition and often times are unable to function at work or school because of lack of sleep.

There may be other conditions that are associated with the occurrence of restless leg syndrome (RLS) such as pregnancy, diabetes, and obesity, being a smoker, having an iron deficiency or anemia. Those with nerve disease, polyneuropathy, or suffer from metal toxicity and other toxins or have kidney failure may also suffer from RLS symptoms.

Sometimes other conditions mimic RLS such muscle diseases, joint problems, nerve issues and circulation problems.

Everyone who has RLS will have a treatment plan that is tailored for their age, and the severity of their symptoms so their plan will be different from someone else’s who has RLS. Any associated condition will have to be treated too to make a difference in the symptoms. Lifestyle improvements and relaxation exercises are sometimes all that is needed in order to see a marked improvement in symptoms. Sometimes just quitting smoking and avoiding alcohol as well as learning how to relax when symptoms are noticed is all that it takes to get some much needed relief.

Medications are given only after other treatments fail to give a measure of relief to the patient. This is because some medications especially opioids like propoxyphene or tramadol can be habit forming. Requip is a medication that has been approved by the FDA.

Self-help treatments include: warm/cold baths, electric nerve stimulation, acupuncture and oral magnesium.

Exercise is important as long as it is not done to excessively. Your doctor or physical therapist will help you to learn what exercises will be the most beneficial for you to learn. You may also want to learn some mental exercises to do during times when you must sit for any length of time. Keeping your mind off of the RLS symptoms can be accomplished when you learn these mental activities.

Support groups can be found locally that will help you to find a doctor, or to find more information about lifestyle changes, or relaxation techniques that work for others with RLS. Support groups are not only great for information sharing but also for companionship and a place to be with others who really understand what you are going through on a daily basis.

There are study groups, surveys and research being done by organizations and universities all over the world. Who knows when the next big break may be and there will be new techniques or medications that will bring relief to those who suffer from restless legs syndrome.

Hopefully you have learned some valuable information at a glance that will come in handy for you or someone you know who suffers from RLS and can take something found here and make a difference in their life or someone elses life.

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