Restless Arm Restless Body And Other Related Conditions
Its called restless leg syndrome, but it can also affect your arms, trunk, or head. Both sides of the body are usually involved, but some people have it on only one side. Despite these differences, its the same disorder.
About of people with RLS also have periodic limb movement of sleep . This causes involuntary leg twitching or jerking during sleep that can last all night long.
Peripheral neuropathy, diabetes, and kidney failure cause symptoms like RLS. Treating the underlying condition often helps.
Many people with Parkinsons disease also have RLS. But most people who have RLS dont go on to develop Parkinsons. The same medications can improve symptoms of both conditions.
Its not uncommon for people with multiple sclerosis to have sleep disturbances, including restless legs, limbs, and body. Theyre also prone to muscles spasms and cramps. Medication used to combat fatigue associated with chronic diseases can also cause this. Medication adjustments and home remedies may help.
Pregnant women are at higher risk of RLS. It usually resolves on its own after the baby is born.
Anyone can have occasional leg cramps or strange sensations that come and go. When symptoms interfere with sleep, see your doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment. Be sure to mention any underlying health conditions.
Ruling Out Potential Causes
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.
Atlanta Vein Therapy As A Treatment For Restless Leg Syndrome
Fortunately, there are treatments that relieve the symptoms of restless leg syndrome without the need for drugs, downtime, and lets the patient get back to a life they can enjoy. At Atlanta Medical Clinic, we provide several minimally-invasive solutions that bring patients relief.
Benefits of our restless leg treatments:
- Minimally invasive procedure that is performed in our clinic, versus a hospital
- Pain relief from cramps, inflammation and heavy legs
- Quick recovery and very little downtime if any at all
- Enjoy an overall improvement with your health
- Restore confidence to bare your legs again
- Improve the appearance of your legs
At Atlanta Medical Clinic, our expert team of medical professionals has helped hundreds of patients suffering from the discomforts and disruptions caused by restless leg syndrome. If youre sick and tired of suffering from this condition, contact us today to book your consultation.
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Treatment Of Restless Legs Syndrome In Children
The US Food and Drug Administration has not approved any medication for treating restless legs syndrome in children. The long-term effects of treating children with medication approved for adults are unknown.
Benzodiazepines, such as clonazepam, are not recommended for children because they can increase the risk of collapse of the upper airway. Up to 20 percent of children taking levodopa and carbidopa develop a side effect of feeling nauseous.
Good sleep habits are recommended for treating restless legs syndrome in children, as is avoiding caffeine and antihistamines. Vitamin and mineral supplements may help, when taken in consultation with a doctor.
Iron Supplementation May Be All It Takes To Reduce Symptoms Of Restless Legs Syndrome But Many Doctors Don’t 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.
“The concern is that people are being started on medications first when iron might be a valuable treatment. It’s simple, with relatively few side effects,” says Dr. John Winkelman, an RLS specialist at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital.
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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 mental 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.
What Are The Symptoms Of Restless Legs Syndrome
Symptoms of restless legs syndrome include:
- Leg discomfort: These uncomfortable limb sensations are often described by adults as creeping, itching, pulling, crawling, tugging, throbbing, burning, or gnawing. These sensations usually occur at bedtime but can occur at other times of limb inactivity.
- Urge to move legs : To relieve limb discomfort, you have an uncontrollable urge to move your limbs especially when resting, such as when sitting or lying down.
- Sleep disruption: Additional time is often needed to fall asleep because of the urge to move your limbs to relieve the discomfort. Sometimes staying asleep may also be difficult.
- Bedtime behavior problems: Because of the discomfort, you may need to get out of bed to stretch your limbs to relieve the discomfort.
- Daytime sleepiness: Problems with falling asleep and staying asleep may result in daytime sleepiness.
- Behavior and work performance problems: Again, due to sleep disruption, problems may emerge in daytime behavior and work performance.
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Lifestyle Changes And Home Remedies
If you have mild RLS, lifestyle changes may be the only treatment you need.
You can try to prevent RLS symptoms by:
- Avoiding caffeine, tobacco, and nicotine, which are common triggers of RLS symptoms
- Making sure you’re getting enough iron in your diet or by taking supplements
- Reviewing your medications with your doctor and possibly changing medications that may be triggering RLS
- Exercising regularly
- Engaging your mind with distracting activities when you have to remain seated
Other activities can help alleviate RLS symptoms, including:
- Taking a hot or cold bath
- Using heat or ice packs
- Walking or stretching
- Massaging your legs
- Doing mentally challenging tasks
To help you fall and stay asleep, it’s also important to adopt good sleep habits, including:
- Keeping your sleeping area cool, quiet, and dark
- Engaging in a mentally challenging or distracting activity before bed, such as a crossword puzzle
- Removing devices from your sleeping area that can disrupt sleep, such as TVs, computers, and phones
- Sticking to a sleep routine
- Using breathing exercises or other techniques to relax at night
Lifestyle Management And Home Remedies
If the symptoms of restless legs syndrome are mild, lifestyle changes may be the only treatment needed. In these cases, there are plenty of natural treatments and home remedies that can be tried.
Adopting good sleep practices can help a person with restless legs syndrome get enough sleep. Not getting enough sleep can be one of the most disruptive consequences of RLS. Good sleep habits can include:
- Going to bed and waking up at regular times, even on the weekends or days off
- Not napping during the day
- Making sure the bedroom is dark, cool, quiet and comfortable
- Taking electronic equipment, such as TV and phone, out of the bedroom
Changes to diet may also help with reducing symptoms of restless legs syndrome:
- Avoid stimulants, like caffeine, nicotine and alcohol, particularly before bed
- Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration
Certain activities can ease restless legs syndrome symptoms, such as:
- Regular, moderate exercise
- Avoid being confined in places, for example, choose an aisle seat at the movies or on a plane
- Massaging the legs
- Taking a warm bath
- RLS-UK suggests hot-cold therapy, a shower of alternating hot and cold water
- Simple leg stretches or getting up and walking a little as often as possible may help in confined spaces like a plane, as well as in daily life when e.g. working a desk job sitting all day
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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.
What Sensations Are Felt In Restless Legs Syndrome
There are number of sensations that are usually felt in the skin while having symptoms or urge to move your legs. Here are some sensations that are very common-
- Crawling sensation
- Itching in legs
- Electric shock like sensation
As the condition gets worse, it is difficult to judge the type of pain there is. Sometimes RLS has similar problems as with muscle cramps or numbness. According to Dr. Tyagi, the sensations fluctuate in severity cases, disappear suddenly and then come back again.
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Hot And Cold Treatments
While theres not a lot of research backing up using heat and cold to relieve RLS symptoms, many healthcare organizations recommend it. They include the Restless Legs Syndrome Foundation .
These organizations suggest taking a hot or cold bath before going to bed, or applying hot or cold packs to your legs .
Some peoples RLS symptoms are aggravated by cold, while others have problems with heat. This could explain the benefits of these hot or cold treatments.
Whats The Treatment For It
While RLS/WED is essentially a lifelong condition, dont be discouraged. There are things you can do to help reduce the symptoms and have more restful sleep.There are medications that can help with RLS/WED, but there isnt one drug that works for everyone. Speak to your health care practitioner about the best treatment plan for your situation.Assessing and treating nutritional deficiencies is an important step in improving symptoms of RLS/WED. Start by including foods in your diet that are rich in the following five key nutrients.
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The First Step In Treating Restless Legs Syndrome
The first line of defense against restless legs syndrome is to avoid substances or foods that may aggrivate or worsen the problem. Stay away from alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine. This may help relieve your symptoms. In addition, review all medications you are taking with your doctor to determine if any of these drugs could be causing the problem.
Any underlying medical conditions, such as anemia, diabetes, nutritional deficiencies, kidney disease, thyroid disease, varicose veins, or Parkinson’s disease, should be treated. Dietary supplements to correct vitamin or mineral deficiency may be recommended. For some people, these treatments are all that is needed to relieve RLS symptoms.
You may also benefit from physical therapy and self-care treatments, such as stretching, taking hot or cold baths, whirlpool baths, applying hot or cold packs to the affected area, limb massage, or vibratory or electrical stimulation of the feet and toes before bedtime. Exercise and relaxation techniques also may be helpful.
Establishing A Treatment Plan For Restless Legs Syndrome
When treating RLS, doctors must consider the severity of the condition and the extent to which it affects your quality of life. Due to the potential for side effects, doctors may prefer to avoid prescribing medication for mild symptoms that dont interfere with day-to-day life.
Since RLS can occur on its own or as a result of another medical condition, treatment for RLS symptoms may need to be approached differently depending on the root cause. Before proceeding with RLS treatment, experts recommend looking for other conditions that could be causing or aggravating RLS symptoms. Common culprits include:
- Sleep deprivation
- Renal insufficiency
- Medication such as antihistamines and certain antidepressants
For many people, addressing these factors may lead to a drastic reduction in RLS symptoms. However, if symptoms are still bothersome, or if they interfere with sleep, doctors may advise additional remedies.
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How To Treat Restless Leg Syndrome
Currently, no cure exists for restless leg syndrome. Treatment is focused on targeting the symptoms and finding effective ways to relieve the discomfort and reduce the undesirable sensations. The exceptions are the cases where RLS was caused by an underlying disease such as anemia or diabetes. In those situations, the best course of action generally involves treating the underlying condition.
Although restless leg syndrome can be difficult condition to deal with, there are ways to treat the disorder. Some methods focus on treating the disorders symptoms and others focus on making certain lifestyle changes to help decrease the number and intensity of incidents.
One of the most effective and recommended ways to treat RLS is by combining natural remedies with lifestyle changes. Though you might find relief from using some of the following remedies individually, its recommended to try a few in tandem with each other for maximum effectiveness.
How Do You Fall Asleep With Restless Legs
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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.
Could Restless Leg Syndrome Be A Sign Of A Different Disorder Or Disease
Most people with RLS are believed to have a condition called periodic limb movements in sleep , which causes involuntary movement of the legs during sleep. However, not all people with PLMS have RMS.
Research has also suggested links between RLS and other conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, migraine, and Parkinsons disease. More research is needed to confirm and understand these links.
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Ask About Iron Supplements
Talk to your doctor about how much iron you should take, but John Hopkins notes that taking 325 milligrams of ferrous sulfate twice a day on an empty stomach for three months has helped some people improve their RLS symptoms.
Alternatively, you could try increasing your food sources of iron, including meat, poultry, fish and seafood, lentils, beans and spinach.
If lifestyle changes alone aren’t effective, medication therapy is also an option. While there isn’t one best medication for restless legs syndrome, Dr. Matta says there are different classes of drugs to try.
One of the most common types of medications used for restless legs syndrome are those that affect dopamine pathways in your brain, such as Ropinirole and Pramipexole. Some cases of RLS may be caused by a disruption of the dopamine pathways, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke , so giving medicine that increases dopamine might help.
These drugs can cause unpleasant side effects like nausea and lightheadedness, though, so they’re often started at very low doses.
If you’re pregnant or have an underlying medical condition, medication may not be the right choice for you. Make sure to tell your doctor about your medical history and any other symptoms you’re experiencing.
Periodic Limb Movement In Sleep
Periodic limb movement in sleep , also known as periodic limb movement disorder , is experienced by about 80 percent of people with restless legs syndrome.
Periodic limb movement in sleep causes limbs, commonly the legs but also sometimes the arms, to jerk or twitch involuntarily during sleep. It can be so severe as to wake the sleeper and disturb anyone sharing the bed. Involuntary limb movements may also occur during waking hours, when it is known as periodic limb movement during awakening .
Most people with restless legs syndrome have PLMS, but many people with PLMS do not also have restless legs syndrome.
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