Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) is a disorder that causes a strong urge to move ones feet. The person has an unpleasant feeling in the feet that gets somewhat better by moving them. In some cases arms are also affected. Symptoms of Restless Leg Syndrome are:
• Pain or restlessness in feet
• Buzzing sensation
• Unpleasant tickle that won’t stop
• Crawling or jerking feeling
• Urge to move feet
• Worsening of sensations
HOW IS RESTLESS LEG SYNDROME DIAGNOSED?
Physicians focus largely on the individual’s descriptions of symptoms, their triggers and relieving factors, as well as the presence or absence of symptoms throughout the day. A neurological and physical exam, plus information from the individual’s medical and family history and list of current medications, may be helpful. Laboratory tests may be performed to rule out other conditions. Blood tests can identify iron and vitamin deficiencies as well as other medical disorders associated with RLS. In some cases, sleep studies such as polysomnography (a test that records the individual’s brain waves, heartbeat, breathing, and leg movements during an entire night) may identify the presence of other causes of sleep disruption
HOW IS RESTLESS LEG SYNDROME TREATED?
RLS can be treated, with care directed toward relieving symptoms. Moving the affected limbs may provide temporary relief. Sometimes RLS symptoms can be controlled by finding and treating an associated medical condition, such as peripheral neuropathy or diabetes. Certain lifestyle changes and activities that may reduce symptoms in persons with mild to moderate symptoms include decreased use of caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco, supplements to correct deficiencies in iron, folate, and magnesium, changing or maintaining a regular sleep pattern, a program of moderate exercise, and massaging the legs, taking a hot bath, or using a heating pad or ice pack. A trial of iron supplements is recommended only for individuals with low iron levels.
DID YOU KNOW?
Restless Leg Syndrome is a medical condition that affects around 15% of the American population