Restless legs syndrome (RLS for short) is a problem that causes distressing or uncomfortable sensations in the legs with an irresistible need to move the legs. These types of signs and symptoms frequently occur in the late afternoon or night hours and are typically more serious at night whenever relaxing, such as sitting or laying in bed. Because of this it may become hard to fall asleep or go back to sleep soon after waking up. Moving the legs or walking ordinarily relieves the symptoms but the sensations quite often happen again once the motion stops. This could have a substantial effect on the quality of life and may result in concentration and work productivity problems because of the lack of sleep. Around 10% of the population have been estimated to probably have got restless legs syndrome. This has an effect on both men and women, but it is more prevalent in women. The explanation for restless legs syndrome is not known. While this condition are often very miserable, the majority of cases of RLS are treatable with non-drug solutions and if required, drugs.
There are some underlying disorders, for instance an iron deficiency, that can be associated with restless legs syndrome and fixing that iron deficiency with iron supplements could drastically minimize the symptoms. If there is no underlying condition, then the therapy will initially concentrate on lifestyle changes and when those may not be helpful different medicines is often tried.
Some of the things that should be tried out such as things similar to soaking in a warmer bath as well as massaging the legs to relax the muscles. Applying hot or cold packs sometimes decrease the limb sensations. As exhaustion will probably worsen the symptoms of Restless legs syndrome, therefore it is essential that everyone do aim to have sufficient sleep. Undertaking modest and regular exercise can help as well to ease symptoms of restless legs syndrome. Nevertheless, over doing it or exercising later in the day may make the symptoms even worse. Sometimes cutting back on coffee may also help restless legs, therefore stay clear of caffiene products if achievable, including chocolates which has caffeine. There are specific foot wraps which applies force about the feet that has been claimed as helping some people. Some report relief from sleeping under heavier blankets on their bed.
If these methods do not help, then several prescription drugs could be tried. It might take several trials to get the appropriate medication or combination of drugs at different dosage amounts to find the things that work good for every individual. One list of drugs are those that increase dopamine in the brain for example Ropinirole (Requip), rotigotine (Neupro) and pramipexole (Mirapex). A different group are the drugs which affect calcium channels for instance gabapentin (Neurontin, Gralise) and pregabalin (Lyrica) that are very effective for some people that have restless legs syndrome. Narcotic drugs might reduce mild to severe signs and symptoms, however they could be addictive if used in higher levels. This could include tramadol as well as the codeine prescription drugs. Muscle relaxants and sleep medications can be trialled to help to improve sleep, but they are not going to modify the experience of the signs and symptoms.
Restless legs syndrome generally is a life time problem, so living with it involves developing coping methods that actually work for each individual. Support groups have become great for sharing ideas and getting help.