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How To Diagnose Restless Leg Syndrome

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Treatments For Restless Leg Syndrome

How to Treat Restless Leg Syndrome Without Drugs (10 Professional Suggestions)

Restless leg syndrome can be tricky to treat if no potential cause is evident from your test results. Generally speaking, there are two potential routes that you can take when it comes to treating restless leg syndrome: medications and lifestyle changes.

Medications that were originally developed to treat other diseases may be effective in treating restless leg syndrome. Some of these medications include:

  • Muscle relaxants and sleep medications
  • Medications that increase dopamine in the brain
  • Medications that affect calcium channels

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Warm Compresses Can Be Soothing

Heated or cooled pads, often used to relieve swelling caused by injuries and other conditions, have a long history as a home remedy. Dr. Berkowski says they can be effective by creating a new sensation for the brain to process, reducing the uncomfortable sensation produced by restless legs syndrome.

You can buy an inexpensive cold or warm compress at a store, but the simplest way to make one is to soak fabric in cold or warm water and place it against your skin.

Where Can I Get More Information

For more information on neurological disorders or research programs funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, contact the Institute’s Brain Resources and Information Network at:

Office of Communications and Public LiaisonNational Institute of Neurological Disorders and StrokeNational Institutes of HealthBethesda, MD 20892

NINDS health-related material is provided for information purposes only and does not necessarily represent endorsement by or an official position of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke or any other Federal agency. Advice on the treatment or care of an individual patient should be obtained through consultation with a physician who has examined that patient or is familiar with that patient’s medical history.

All NINDS-prepared information is in the public domain and may be freely copied. Credit to the NINDS or the NIH is appreciated.

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Home Remedies To Stop The Restlessness Immediately

First, I would recommend completing any testing that your healthcare provider has recommended, and any abnormalities that are found should be corrected. The test provided by a medical healthcare provider is listed below. Hopefully, your testing has included an evaluation for vein disease. The first steps in stopping restless legs due to vein disease like venous insufficiency or pelvic vein compression are essentially home remedies and require no invasive procedures or conventional medications. They are as follows:

  • Proper leg care – Use graduated compression socks during waking hours.
  • Compression socks can be obtained over-the-counter at your local drug store, or online. These are not your grandmothers stockings! These days, you can find every style, color, pattern, and material to suit your preferences
  • Socks should be snug and require some practice getting on and off efficiently. There are lots of great assistive devices available for doffing and donning, and videos online that show the best techniques.
  • If my symptoms happen at night, why shouldnt I wear my compression socks at night? In rare cases, people can have arterial disease of the legs that makes wearing socks at night dangerous. If wearing compression socks at night causes you more pain in the lower legs and feet, take them off right away.
  • Exercise – Low-impact aerobic exercise like walking, swimming, and cycling all encourage better circulation in the legs
  • Abnormalities Of Iron Metabolism

    Restless Legs Syndrome Shown &  Explained Using A Medical ...

    Iron deficiency, even at a level too mild to cause anemia, has been linked to RLS in some people. Some research suggests that RLS in some people may be due to a problem with getting iron into cells that regulate dopamine in the brain. Some studies have reported RLS in a quarter to a third of people with low iron levels.

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

    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.

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

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    • Research health conditions

    Restless legs syndrome, or RLS, is a common nerve condition where you have unpleasant creeping, tugging, or pulling feelings in your legs. You might also have an overwhelming urge to move your legs. The symptoms are usually worse at night or when youre resting.

    Doctors dont know the cause of RLS, and thereâs no cure. But certain things can trigger symptoms. Knowing your triggers and how to avoid them will help.

    Possible triggers include:

    Symptoms For Restless Leg Syndrome

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    injuries or arthritis and peripheral neuropathy.

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    When Should Augmentation Be Suspected

    • any maintained increase in symptom severity despite appropriate treatment

    • any maintained increase in symptom severity following a dose increase, particularly if a dose reduction leads to an improvement in symptoms

    • any earlier onset of symptoms in the afternoon/evening

    • any spreading of symptoms to previously unaffected body parts

    • any shorter latency to symptom onset during the day when at rest.

    What Research Is Being Done

    How to Treat Restless Legs Syndrome : Vitamin Treatments for Restless Leg Syndrome

    The mission of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke is to seek fundamental knowledge about the brain and nervous system and to use that knowledge to reduce the burden of neurological disease. The NINDS is a component of the National Institutes of Health , the leading supporter of biomedical research in the world.

    While the direct cause of RLS is often unknown, changes in the brains signaling pathways are likely to contribute to the disease. In particular, researchers suspect that impaired transmission of dopamine signals in the brains basal ganglia may play a role. There is a relationship between genetics and RLS. However, currently there is no genetic testing. NINDS-supported research is ongoing to help discover genetic relationships and to better understand what causes the disease.

    The NINDS also supports research on why the use of dopamine agents to treat RLS, Parkinsons disease, and other movement disorders can lead to impulse control disorders, with aims to develop new or improved treatments that avoid this adverse effect.

    More information about research on RLS supported by NINDS or other components of the NIH is available through the NIH RePORTER , a searchable database of current and previously funded research, as well as research results such as publications.

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    What Are The Symptoms

    The most prominent symptom of RLS is the overwhelming urge to move your legs, especially when youre sitting still or lying in bed. You might also feel unusual sensations like a tingling, crawling, or pulling sensation in your legs. Movement may relieve these sensations.

    If you have mild RLS, symptoms may not occur every night. And you might attribute these movements to restlessness, nervousness, or stress.

    A more severe case of RLS is challenging to ignore. It can complicate the simplest activities, like going to the movies. A long plane ride can also be difficult.

    People with RLS are likely to have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep because symptoms are worse at night. Daytime sleepiness, fatigue, and sleep deprivation can harm your physical and emotional health.

    Symptoms usually affect both sides of the body, but some people have them on only one side. In mild cases, symptoms may come and go. RLS can also affect other parts of the body, including your arms and head. For most people with RLS, symptoms worsen with age.

    People with RLS often use movement as a way to relieve symptoms. That might mean pacing the floor or tossing and turning in bed. If you sleep with a partner, it may well be disturbing their sleep as well.

    Restless Legs Syndrome Diagnosis

    Thereâs no medical test for RLS. Your doctor might want to talk to your sleep partner about what theyâve noticed.

    The five basic criteria for a diagnosis of RLS are:

    • An overwhelming urge to move your legs, especially along with uncomfortable or unusual feelings
    • An urge that starts or gets worse while youâre at rest
    • An urge that goes away, either partly or totally, when you move
    • An urge that starts or gets worse in the evening
    • Another condition, such as leg cramps, arthritis, or muscle pains, isnât causing it

    Your doctor may use lab tests to rule out other conditions. A neurological exam can check for nerve damage or blood vessel problems. A sleep study called polysomnography can tell them if you have other sleep disorders that might cause RLS.

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    When To Seek Help

    Of course, home remedies have their limits. If these ideas dont work for you and they dont work for everyone dont hesitate to seek out the advice of a sleep expert.

    Not everyone with restless legs needs to see a doctor, but severe cases can be debilitating. Some people feel so desperate and helpless, Dr. Berkowski says, as their lack of sleep can cause depression and anxiety.

    He says to consult a doctor if either of the following applies to you:

    • Your difficulties falling or staying asleep lead to you feeling sleepy or unrefreshed.
    • Your sleep is disrupted at least two or three times a week.

    If these home remedies still fall short, your doctor can provide you with more information about the potential prescription medicines that can help.

    How Is Rls Treated

    Restless Leg Syndrome: What Causes Restless Legs?

    Treatment is aimed at reducing symptoms and enabling sound sleep. The health care provider may recommend self-help treatment and medicines. Often, a combination of self-help and medicines works well. Some drugs work better than others, so trying different ones to find the best treatment may be needed. Avoiding caffeine, cigarettes, and alcohol may be helpful.

    If symptoms are severe and treatment does not work, a visit to a specialist in sleep disorders or a neurologist may be needed. A neurologist is a doctor who specializes in treating disorders of the nervous system.

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    Home Remedies For Restless Legs Syndrome

    Home remedies offer a simple way to improve RLS symptoms. Though more research is needed to confirm how effective these methods are, many people with mild to moderate RLS symptoms find relief from a combination of the following:

    • Moving the legs: Moving the affected body part usually leads to relief from uncomfortable sensations, though symptoms may return when movement ceases.
    • Implementing healthy sleep hygiene habits: RLS can cause sleep loss , but its also exacerbated by sleep problems. Try to keep a regular sleep schedule and ask your doctor for personalized sleep hygiene tips.
    • Avoiding tobacco and eating a healthy diet: The Restless Legs Syndrome Foundation recommends reducing alcohol, caffeine, sugar, and salt and following a healthy diet rich in vitamins and minerals. In addition to relieving RLS symptoms, a healthy diet can help improve sleep quality.
    • Exercising: Moderate exercise and stretching may help reduce RLS symptoms. That said, people with RLS should be careful with high-intensity activity, which may cause muscle cramps and stiffness that can exacerbate symptoms.
    • Receiving massages or self-massaging: Some people find relief from RLS symptoms after massaging affected areas.
    • Using heat or cold: RLS-related discomfort can often be tamed by applying a hot or cold compress or taking a warm bath before bed. Response to temperature may vary from person to person.

    What Are The Symptoms Of Rls

    Sensations occur when you lie down or sit for a prolonged time. This causes:

    • The need to move the legs for temporary relief of symptoms by:

    • Stretching or bending

    • Dopaminergic agents which are largely used to treat Parkinson’s disease

    • Benzodiazepines such as clonazepam and diazepam

    • Opioids such as codeine, propoxyphene, or oxycodone

    • Anticonvulsants such as gabapentin and pregabalin

    Consult your doctor for more information regarding the treatment of restless legs syndrome.

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    What Is Restless Legs Syndrome

    Restless legs syndrome , also called Willis-Ekbom Disease, causes unpleasant or uncomfortable sensations in the legs and an irresistible urge to move them. Symptoms commonly occur in the late afternoon or evening hours, and are often most severe at night when a person is resting, such as sitting or lying in bed. They also may occur when someone is inactive and sitting for extended periods . Since symptoms can increase in severity during the night, it could become difficult to fall asleep or return to sleep after waking up. Moving the legs or walking typically relieves the discomfort but the sensations often recur once the movement stops. RLS is classified as a sleep disorder since the symptoms are triggered by resting and attempting to sleep, and as a movement disorder, since people are forced to move their legs in order to relieve symptoms. It is, however, best characterized as a neurological sensory disorder with symptoms that are produced from within the brain itself.

    RLS is one of several disorders that can cause exhaustion and daytime sleepiness, which can strongly affect mood, concentration, job and school performance, and personal relationships. Many people with RLS report they are often unable to concentrate, have impaired memory, or fail to accomplish daily tasks. Untreated moderate to severe RLS can lead to about a 20 percent decrease in work productivity and can contribute to depression and anxiety. It also can make traveling difficult.

    Using Cbd Oil To Treat Restless Leg Syndrome

    How to Cope with Restless Leg Syndrome

    In addition to THC, using CBD for restless legs is also effective. CBD, or cannabidiol, is another compound found in marijuana. It does not produce as much intoxication as THC and it has several positive benefits for the body.

    CBD interacts with pain receptors in the brain to reduce the amount of pain felt within the body. This makes it ideal for relieving headaches, back pain, and pain caused by injury and trauma.

    Users can obtain CBD through smoking or vaping cannabis, but it can also be extracted and isolated in the form of CBD oil. Medical marijuana users are turning to CBD oil for restless leg syndrome, mainly because they want to stay away from the intoxicating effects of cannabis. For this reason, cannabis growers are breeding strains of cannabis that have a higher CBD content and limited psychoactive effects.

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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.

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