If so, you may be one of the 10% of the worldwide population who suffer with ‘Restless Leg Syndrome’ (RLS). This may give you:
- An irresistible urge to move your limbs with or without sensations
- Improvement in symptoms after moving the affected limb(s)
- Onset and worsening of symptoms during periods of relaxation or inactivity
- Worsening of symptoms in the evening or during the night
Some people will only notice minor symptoms, whilst others may experience more notable disruption to their life and sleep.
What are the causes?
The main causes include dysfunction of the neurotransmitter, dopamine, dysfunction of iron metabolism and a family history of RLS.
RLS can also be caused as a consequence of other pathologies such as iron deficiency, diabetes mellitus, thyroid disorders, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis and kidney disease as well as pregnancy.
How to Manage your Symptoms:
Certain factors, such as iron deficiency, excessive consumption of caffeine, alcohol and / or nicotine have been found to aggravate symptoms, so reducing these factors should help to alleviate symptoms. Although the syndrome can be medicated with prescription drugs containing dopamine, research has shown that there are a range of non-medication based approaches too such as:
- Compression stockings
- Regular physical activity
- Standing on a cold floor
- Manual therapy approaches such as Osteopathy
I am aware, from many of my patients that this can be a distressing condition and if you think you may be suffering from any of the symptoms, please visit your GP for a diagnosis, so that suitable management strategies can be identified.