Restless Leg Syndrome 101

by Guest Writer

What is Restless Leg Syndrome?

Restless Leg Syndrome, otherwise known as RLS, is a neurological disorder in which uncontrollable pain is brought to the legs causing the urge to constantly move your legs.

What are some symptoms of RLS?

Symptoms of RLS include these sensations in the legs:

  • Throbbing
  • Pulling
  • Pins and Needles
  • Creeping
  • Twitching
  • Jerking

Symptoms of RLS most commonly approach at night in bed, or when someone is trying to sleep or relax.

What causes it?

While RLS is generally genetic, experts believe that it is caused by an imbalance of dopamine, the chemical that transmits signals between nerve cells in the brain.

How many people are affected by RLS?

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, approximately 10 percent of the United States population is affected by RLS. The disorder comes mostly to those at or over the age of 40, but there have been cases of teens and young adults getting it as well. Around 40 percent of mothers acquire RLS during pregnancy.

Is there a Treatment for RLS?

There are several home remedies that may not treat, but can help with RLS symptoms.

1. Heat/Cold packs

One at home remedy to help with RLS symptoms is to switch between hot and cold compresses to help relax the muscles. Try leaving ice packs on your legs, then moving to a warm bath. This will relax your muscles and, hopefully, relax you before you go to sleep.

2. Exercise/Stretching

Now I’m sure the last thing you’re thinking about is exercise when your legs are aching, but seriously, this is important. Doing at least ten minutes of exercise a day can be extremely beneficial to those with RLS. Deep stretches every night can also help with RLS symptoms and can help to fully relax the leg muscles.

3. Over the counter medication/Avoid some medications

Taking over the counter medicine like ibuprofen may be able to help for short periods of time. Although, medicines such as over the counter sleeping pills and antihistamines could both make RLS symptoms worse.

4. Diet

A diet low in sugar and high in protein can significantly help any RLS symptoms. Also, lowering alcohol intake and avoiding smoking can help tremendously.

Do you suffer from RLS? we’d love to hear your story!

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