Restless leg syndrome is also called Wilis-Ekbom Disease which is a neurological disorder affecting millions of people every year. People suffering from restless leg syndrome experiences pain, aches or sensations that is felt in the legs especially when lying down or sitting.
A person with restless leg syndrome feels like exercising the leg even though the body and mind are ready for sleeping. This condition happens frequently at night or while lying down and there is difficulty falling or staying asleep and results to lessened quality of life. Women are more susceptible to this condition than in men and can happen at any age but adults are usually affected. It causes disruption in sleep that result to daytime drowsiness and also makes traveling difficult.
Symptoms of restless leg syndrome
- The sensation usually begins after taking a rest such as lying down or sitting for long periods time such as sitting in a car, airplane or inside a movie theater.
- The sensation becomes lessened with movement such as stretching, pacing or walking and jiggling of the legs.
- Symptoms become worse in the evening.
- Restless leg syndrome can be associated with another condition called periodic limb movement of sleep which also causes the legs to twitch and kick at night when sleeping.
- The sensation that happens in the legs can be felt as creeping, itching, crawling, pulling, aching and throbbing.
- An imbalance of the brain chemical dopamine that functions in sending messages that control the movement of the muscles.
- Sometimes, restless leg syndrome can be due to heredity especially if the condition happens develops before 50 years old.
- Signs and symptoms of restless leg syndrome temporarily become worse during pregnancy or hormonal changes. Some pregnant women experiences restless leg syndrome during the last trimester and eventually disappears after giving birth.
- Soak the body in a warm bath and massage the legs to relax the muscles.
- Apply alternately warm and cool packs to minimize the sensations in the legs.
- Perform some relaxation techniques such as meditation or yoga. Stress can make restless leg syndrome become worse which is why it is vital to relax especially before sleeping at night.
- Sleep in a cool, comfortable and quiet environment and go to bed and wake at the same time every day.
- Perform moderate exercises to minimize the symptoms of the syndrome and avoid overdoing exercises by working out too late in the day since these can make the condition worse. Take a long walk, hike, swim, bike or any activity that makes use of the legs.
- Avoid eating foods that contains caffeine such as chocolate and caffeinated drinks including coffee, soft drinks and tea for at least a week.
- Take vitamin B supplements.