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Restless Leg Syndrome

If you have uncomfortable sensations in your legs and/or other parts of your body and feel an irresistible urge to move your legs to relieve the sensations, you could be suffering from restless leg syndrome (RLS).  Up to 10 percent of Americans experience symptoms of RLS which can be so severe that sleep is constantly disrupted, impairing a person's quality of life.

Symptoms of Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)

  • Feelings of "itchiness", "pins and needles" or "creepy crawly" in the legs, especially at night or in the evenings.  
  • Irresistible urge to move your legs to relieve the symptoms which are usually worse when lying or sitting.

Treatment of Restless Leg Syndrome

The exact cause of restless leg syndrome is still unknown, some conditions that seem to be associated with RLS include chronic diseases such as diabetes, Parkinson's disease; iron deficiency; over-the-counter and prescription medications; and pregnancy.  Alcohol and sleep deprivation may also trigger symptoms.

While there is no cure for restless leg syndrome, certain treatments and medication therapy can help control and decrease symptoms, as well as improve sleeping patterns.  Lifestyle changes and medications are the most common forms of treating RLS.  Keeping up with a regular exercise routine, establishing regular sleeping patterns and eliminating or decreasing the intake of caffeine, tobacco and/or alcohol can greatly reduce RLS symptoms.  Leg massages, hot baths or heating pads can also be helpful in aiding RLS symptoms.