Austin, Texas (PRWEB) October 15, 2013
Stretching, pressure therapy and massage are just a few RLS patient favorites for reducing the disorder's symptoms. Weighted blankets (think of a blanket with dozens of little bean bag-like squares sewn across its length, hugging your legs, like a massage, with your every move) have also been found to be effective with many people in improving their sleep. RLS is a tricky disorder as everyone experiences symptoms a bit differently. So what exactly is RLS?
RLS is a neurologic sensorimotor disorder that causes uncomfortable sensations in the legs: feelings of itchiness or of “pins and needles”. The sensations typically occur when a person is lying or sitting, so symptoms are often present and intolerable at night. Individuals experience pain and difficulties sleeping; symptoms can be mild or severe, and may fluctuate daily.
Restless Legs Syndrome Causes
The current thinking is that the disorder is related to dopamine, a chemical in the brain which sends messages to control muscle movements in the body. Because people often have low iron levels there is also thought that the brain is using iron abnormally in some way. There appears to be a genetic link to the disorder, as half the people who are diagnosed with RLS have a family member having it. ADHD is common in children and adults with RLS.
There is no known cure. There are prescription medications available, although some cause side effects or only work for a time. If you are suffering from uncomfortable leg sensations, see your doctor. It is helpful to maintain a journal of your sleeping patterns and pain symptoms. RLS symptoms may be part of another disease, like Parkinson’s disease or diabetes; the RLS symptoms may be partially relieved through the treatment of the other disorder. RLS is diagnosed in almost 25% of pregnancies, although the symptoms are usually temporary.
Restless Legs Syndrome Remedies
Here are some general therapy suggestions from experts, RLS patients and occupational therapists, to discuss with your doctor:
As people can experience RLS symptoms quite differently, and treatments can vary wildly in terms of what works for each individual, you should talk with your doctor about what approach is best for you and your overall medical condition.
For more information about RLS, check out the RLS website. They have a downloadable sleep journal as well as other extremely useful information. Note that RLS is now referred to as Willis-Ekborn Disease.
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