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How To Calm Restless Legs Syndrome

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Restless Legs Syndrome Treatment: How To Stop Restless Legs With Home Remedies

8 Easy Yoga Poses to Calm Restless Legs Syndrome

1. Exercise

Regular daily exercise can help, says Dr DAnna. But avoid exercising close to bedtime, he warns. Talk to your doctor about a plan that could work for you.

2. Find ways to relax

Relaxation exercises, such as yoga or tai chi, may help relieve your symptoms, says Dr DAnna. So can activities that distract your mind, such as reading or watching television, he suggests. A leg massage late in the day may also relax you and reduce RLS symptoms.

3. Say goodbye to stimulants

Avoid stimulants in the evening, such as caffeine, tobacco and alcohol, says Dr D Anna. In some cases, caffeine makes the symptoms of Restless Legs Syndrome worse. Try to avoid drinking tea and coffee and see if it makes a difference. Alcohol can also cause issues so consider giving up booze. According to the RLS-UK website, alcohol consumption also increases the span or intensity of symptoms for most individuals and smoking wont help your symptoms either, so cut down or give up. These NHS services can help you quit.

4. Try hot and cold therapy

A warm bath before bed can help you relax and may ease symptoms. Alternatively, apply a hot or cold compress to your leg muscles, says Dr DAnna. You can also alternate between hot and cold compresses to relieve the twitching or pain.

Magnesium may help relax the muscles and lesson symptoms.

5. Give magnesium a go

6. Get your iron levels checked

7. Practice good sleep habits

8. Avoid certain medications

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Homeopathy Can Be Extremely Effective For Treating Restless Leg Syndrome

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Do you have a tendency to twitch your legs while sitting at your desk? Do you rock your legs constantly while watching TV? This seemingly trivial annoyance may actually be a medical disorder.

Restless leg syndrome refers to a condition whereby a person has an irresistible desire to move the legs to relieve discomforting sensations. Luckily, homeopathic treatments can often provide relief-without side effects.

Symptoms Of Restless Legs Syndrome

RLS is characterized by discomfort deep in the legs and nearly irresistible urges to move them, which can become very disruptive to sleep. These unpleasant sensations can include aching, throbbing, pulling, itching, jumping, crawling, or creeping in the legs.

The severity of these symptoms can range from mild to intolerable.

RLS symptoms usually occur when patients have been inactive for periods of time, as well as in the late afternoon or evening, and especially at night when patients are sitting or lying in bed.

RLS can be experienced on only one side of the body, and symptoms can occasionally switch sides. Usually, RSL affects both sides of the body.

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Get More Iron In Your Diet

Using your diet to safely correct any iron deficiency can help alleviate RLS symptoms. The catch, Dr. Berkowski says, is knowing what your iron levels are. Iron supplements are certainly one way to get those levels up but youll need to be sure to consult with your doctor about that. If your iron levels are already normal or even too high, more iron wont help you give you those benefits, he adds.

If you are iron deficient, though, there are plenty of healthy ways to get iron through your diet. Eating red meat can really boost iron levels, Dr. Berkowski says, and if youre vegetarian, eating tofu, legumes, lentils and spinach is a way to get that iron.

Other foods that are rich in iron include eggs, fish and nuts, like cashews and almonds.

Yoga Poses To Treat Restless Legs

How To Calm Restless Legs

As mentioned above, RLS may be exacerbated by structural issues in the lower, posterior chain.The following eight yoga poses help treat restless legs syndrome by stretching and relaxing the sections of the lower body that are causing discomfort. When choosing yoga poses or any other stretches to ease RLS, prioritize those that decompress and mobilize muscles in the back of the legs, the piriformis and SI joint, the hip girdle, and the low back.

Yoga provides the added benefit of relaxing the adrenal glands and reducing cortisol levels, which may reduce stress caused by RLS-induced insomnia.

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Ways To Relieve Rls Symptoms

Want help calming the telltale tingling, burning, itching, creeping, crawling, tugging, or pulling of RLS? Here are seven strategies to try for relief.

Even with all the right lifestyle tactics, including a healthy diet, supplements for nutrient deficiencies, and exercise,restless legs syndrome symptoms can act up. When RLS triggers those uncomfortable sensations in your legs, you want a strategy to stop them right away. Fortunately, there are many on-the-spot RLS relief strategies that you can try.

7 Strategies for RLS Relief

Everyone responds differently to RLS treatment. It may take a trial-and-error approach to find the strategies that work best for you and fit with your lifestyle. Some of these approaches are hands-on, while others are based on distraction or a change of environment. As you try these tips, make a note of what works and what doesn’t to create the ultimate action plan for when your symptoms flare.

Also talk with your doctor about over-the-counter pain medications and prescription drugs you can take when RLS flares seem overwhelming.

Options To Calming Rls

Diet is Critical to Calm RLS SymptomsBeing aware of the food and substances that you are putting into your body is probably one of the most important things that you can do in order to reduce your restless leg syndrome. There are many foods and substances that have a tendency to cause a flare up of your restless leg symptoms. Download our free guidebook on the list of trigger foods and look into the Paleo and FODMAP diets. These diets tend to be highly effective at helping reduce and even eliminate RLS symptoms. Some of the main foods to avoid consuming are sugar and salt in high quantities. These 2 foods tend to be among the biggest triggers which cause RLS symptoms to flare up.

What Can I Do Right Now?Yes, its 2 a.m. what can you do right now in order to calm your restless legs? Here are a few helpful things that you can do immediately in order to calm your legs.

Acupressure: The GB20 Point Without going too deep into the science of it, acupressure is a way to get the body to reset itself in order to function in a more balanced state. Applying gentle pressure or massage to this point will alleviate the factors that cause the body to twitch, spasm and jitter. It is a well known point for alleviating symptoms of RLS. Have someone massage these points for 10 minutes, or you can massage them yourself and give your body the reset it needs.

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What Causes Restless Legs Syndrome

According to Dr. Berkowski, restless legs syndrome is mostly a sensation problem with your brain, not your legs. But those issues do affect the muscles and nerves in your legs. Its not 100% a brain issue, but it does cause these abnormal sensations in the leg area, he says.

While there are a few potential causes, Dr. Berkowski points out these two main causes:

  • Genetics. While much about the genetic components that cause RLS arent fully understood, studies indicate that certain genes do elevate the risk of having RLS. Additionally, studies have shown that those with RLS have a high likelihood of having a first-degree family member who also has the condition.
  • Iron deficiency. Low iron levels can affect how the brain processes the sensations that lead to those RLS symptoms, Dr. Berkowski says. And iron levels drop at nighttime which is one reason why RLS is worse at night.

Certain prescription medications can relieve RLS symptoms, including anti-seizure medications. But there are also several things you can do at home to help relieve these symptoms.

Iron Supplementation May Be All It Takes To Reduce Symptoms Of Restless Legs Syndrome But Many Doctors Dont Know About It

How to Treat Restless Leg Syndrome at Home | WebMD

People with restless legs syndrome experience an overwhelming need to move the legs, particularly at night or as they fall asleep. But a simple treatment that may help reduce RLS symptoms is often overlooked as a potential first line of defense.

The concern is that people are being started on medications first when iron might be a valuable treatment. Its simple, with relatively few side effects, says Dr. John Winkelman, an RLS specialist at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital.

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About Restless Legs Syndrome

Restless legs syndrome, also known as Willis-Ekbom disease, is a common condition of the nervous system that causes an overwhelming, irresistible urge to move the legs.

It can also cause an unpleasant crawling or creeping sensation in the feet, calves and thighs. The sensation is often worse in the evening or at night. Occasionally, the arms are affected too.

Restless legs syndrome is also associated with involuntary jerking of the legs and arms, known as periodic limb movements in sleep .

Some people have the symptoms of restless legs syndrome occasionally, while others have them every day. The symptoms can vary from mild to severe. In severe cases, restless legs syndrome can be very distressing and disrupt a persons daily activities.

Causes Of Restless Leg Syndrome

Restless Legs Syndrome can plague anyone at any time, but studies suggest that women are more likely to experience RLS.

In most cases, the causes of RLS are unknown. However, particular gene variants are related to the disease and there are a number of potential causes or contributing factors.

Evidence suggests that RLS could be related to an issue or dysfunction of dopamine in the part of the brain that regulates controlled movement. The involuntary movements of RLS may indicate that dopamine pathways are obstructed.

In some cases, RLS can be accompanied or aggravated by the following underlying conditions:

  • Use of alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine
  • Pregnancy, especially in the last trimester in most cases, symptoms usually disappear within 4 weeks after delivery
  • Iron deficiency
  • Magnesium deficiency
  • Some sleeping conditions can aggravate the symptoms of RLS
  • Certain medications that may aggravate RLS symptoms, such as antinausea drugs , antipsychotic drugs , antidepressants that increase serotonin , and some cold and allergy medications that contain older antihistamines
  • End-stage renal disease and hemodialysis
  • Neuropathy

We will discuss the role of magnesium in RLS further below, and explain why addressing low magnesium can relieve symptoms. It is interesting to note that several of these causes are related to low magnesium.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Rls

The common symptom of RLS is that you have a strong, overwhelming urge to move the affected part of your body, usually your leg. Symptoms can range from a mild feeling of restlessness in your legs on some evenings, to a more severe problem that occurs every evening and night which regularly disturbs sleep. Many people fall somewhere in between these extremes.

  • You may also get an uncomfortable or tingling sensation such as ‘pins and needles’, prickling, pulling or crawling.
  • These feelings begin about 15 minutes after you lie down to sleep or to relax or when you have not moved for long periods, such as when travelling in a car or airplane.
  • Moving will usually make you feel better, at least for a short time.

Ruling Out Potential Causes

Calming Restless Legs Syndrome

Your first step in addressing RLS should be to figure out if something is causing it. While RLS can be related to things that are largely out of your control, such as genetics or pregnancy, other possible factors can be addressed.

These factors could be daily habits, medications youre taking, health conditions you have, or other triggers.

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Restless Legs Syndrome: Seeking Help

Studies estimate that one out of 10 people suffer from restless legs, yet its not always easy to find help and support. Many people with RLS never receive proper treatment. Part of the problem is that its hard to explain and sufferers are often dismissed as being nervous. Those who havent experienced the distressing symptoms may not understand how severely they can impact the quality of your life. Even doctors may not take restless legs seriously, recognize the symptoms, or realize that they point to a real medical condition.

The good news is that recent research has increased our understanding of restless legs syndrome, leading to more effective treatments. At the same time, RLS is becoming more widely recognized. If you or your partner suffers from restless legs, theres never been a better time to find relief.

A night in the life of RLS

If you have restless legs syndrome, a typical night might go like this: You lie down in bed, ready to go to sleep, and just as your body begins to relax, the crawling, tingling, or itching in your legs begin. You try to ignore the uncomfortable sensations, hoping they will go away, but eventually the urge to move is too much. You get out of bed to stretch and pace the floor and, for a moment, you find relief. But when you lie down again, the restless sensations in your legs start all over again.

Other Conditions Associated With Restless Legs Syndrome

The following medical conditions are also associated with RLS, although the relationships are not clear. In some cases, these conditions may contribute to RLS. Others may have a common cause, or they may coexist due to other risk factors:

  • Osteoarthritis . About three-quarters of patients with RLS also have osteoarthritis, a common condition affecting older adults.
  • Varicose veins. Varicose veins occur in about 1 in 7 patients with RLS.
  • Obesity.
  • Diabetes. People with type 2 diabetes may have higher rates of secondary RLS. Nerve pain related to their diabetes cannot fully explain the higher rate of RLS.
  • Hypertension .
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease .
  • Chronic alcoholism.
  • Sleep apnea and snoring.
  • Chronic headaches.
  • Brain or spinal injuries.
  • Many muscle and nerve disorders. Of particular interest is hereditary ataxia, a group of genetic diseases that affects the central nervous system and causes loss of motor control. Researchers believe that hereditary ataxia may supply clues to the genetic causes of RLS.
  • Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder .
  • Psychiatric disorders, such as depression.

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How Is Restless Legs Syndrome Diagnosed

Since there is no specific test for RLS, the condition is diagnosed by a doctors evaluation. The five basic criteria for clinically diagnosing the disorder are:

  • A strong and often overwhelming need or urge to move the legs that is often associated with abnormal, unpleasant, or uncomfortable sensations.
  • The urge to move the legs starts or get worse during rest or inactivity.
  • The urge to move the legs is at least temporarily and partially or totally relieved by movements.
  • The urge to move the legs starts or is aggravated in the evening or night.
  • The above four features are not due to any other medical or behavioral condition.

Diagnosing RLS in children may be especially difficult, since it may be hard for children to describe what they are experiencing, when and how often the symptoms occur, and how long symptoms last. Pediatric RLS can sometimes be misdiagnosed as “growing pains” or attention deficit disorder.

Lavender Oil To Calm Restless Legs:

How to Sleep with Restless Leg Syndrome

A. Aromatherapy with lavender oil has a long history as a sleep aid to ease restlessness. Lavender oil massage has been shown to work better than placebo in easing symptoms of RLS .

Sometimes doctors prescribe oral medications to treat restless legs syndrome or a similar but more severe problem called periodic limb movement disorder. These help some people, but we worry about side effects. Thats why we love reports that soap under the bottom sheet can sometimes calm restless legs. We are just as pleased to learn that lavender oil helps.

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Stretching And Movement Tips

Keeping your body physically active is a great way to lessen RLS symptoms. When you are immobile for too long , this is when those creepy sensations can start up. Try these stretching and movement tips:

  • Go walking for lunch. Take your sandwich and head to the park down the street.
  • Jog in place to give your circulation a boost.
  • If you sit down a lot for work, get up and walk around for five minutes every hour.
  • Right when you get out of bed in the morning and right before you hit the sack at night, take some time to stretch your legs.
  • If on a road trip, stop every hour or so for a stretch.
  • If flying in a plane, request an aisle seat. When it is safe to do so, walk up and down the aisles a couple times every so often.

Goodfellow Gem: Dopamine Agonists May Be Effective For Restless Legs

Restless legs syndrome is defined as an urge to move legs often accompanied by uncomfortable and unpleasant sensations in the legs. Check ferritin and reverse iron deficiency first. Tools for Practice1 reported on a systematic review on pramipexole. Dopamine agonists can be considered as first-line treatment for restless legs syndrome but be aware of adverse effects such as augmentation , loss of impulse control, and drowsiness. Initiate treatment with pramipexole starting dose 0.25 mg, maximal dose 0.75 mg. The NNT is about 5. Ropinirole is another option, with a starting dose of 0.125 mg, maximal dose 4 mg orally once daily 2 hours before bedtime. These medications are also used in treating Parkinsons Disease, and both are funded in New Zealand.

Reference: A good sleep would be dop doc! Pramipexole in restless legs syndrome Tools for Practice #275, 2020

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