Restless Leg Syndrome Treatment of Symptoms
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RLS or restless leg syndrome is a condition caused by a disorder in the central nervous system. The name perfectly describes the symptoms while the disorder can worsen with age. The symptoms are unpleasant sensations in the legs and an uncontrollable urge to move while trying to rest. Some describe the sensations as if there are insects crawling inside the legs together with a burning, creeping or tugging feeling causing considerable pain and distress. Others just find the sensations uncomfortable or irritating. RLS usually only arises when you go to lie down, rest and try to sleep. People with RLS have difficulty both falling asleep and staying asleep so that that they suffer from exhaustion and the quality of their lives can be severely affected.
This condition is surprisingly common with many millions of sufferers in the USA. The figure could even be much higher because of incorrect diagnosis or the symptoms of RLS being attributed to other conditions such as insomnia, stress, muscle cramps or ageing.
You can help to alleviate the symptoms of RLS during the day by:
- Reducing or eliminating caffeine, alcohol and tobacco.
- Being tested for possible low iron levels in your system so that you can take iron supplements under supervision if necessary.
- Wrapping your legs in ace bandages or wear compression stockings to see if this helps the situation.
- Starting an exercise program where if you sit for long periods of time at work, every hour you get up, stretch and walk around for 5 minutes. Also use your lunch break to exercise, go for a walk or even a quick jog while doing leg stretching exercises frequently.
- Booking an aisle seat if you have to go on a long distance air flight so that you can exercise and stretch, or stopping to have some exercise and walk around as frequently as possible when on lengthy car trip.
- In extreme cases of RLS, by keeping a sleep schedule as a useful record to show your doctor.
You can further help at bedtime by:
- Pacing, walking or jogging for a few minutes before bed to ease any discomfort.
- Stretching your legs, doing knee bends or rotating the ankles.
- Massaging your legs with an essentials oils product such as H-Restless Legs
- Relaxing with meditation, yoga or deep breathing.
- Having a bath or soaking your feet in hot water. You can try applying a hot water bottle or heating pad. Other people find comfort from a cold compress. See which method suits and helps you.
- Lying on your side with a pillow between your knees.
In many mild to moderate cases of RLS, you will find that these different home care treatment methods will be very helpful to enable you to get rest, relaxation and sleep. But if nothing is helping and you have severe RLS, then it is wise to seek medical help for a correct diagnosis and further treatment.
Perhaps a night in a sleep lab (under observation and monitoring) will be helpful in ruling out any other type of sleep disorder. Sometimes, RLS can be a a secondary condition brought on by medical and other factors such as Parkinson’s disease, pregnancy, spinal cord injury, certain medications, sleep apnea, varicose veins, thyroid problems and more. Daily medication is usually recommended only for people who have symptoms of restless legs syndrome at least three nights a week. Drugs used to more severe cases of RLS do not cure the condition, but only relieve symptoms.