Lying down and trying to fall asleep is a bit tough for people with restless legs. You may feel a strange sensation that is creeping through your legs.

How To Manage Restless Legs?

Lying down and trying to fall asleep is a bit tough for people with restless legs. You may feel a strange sensation that is creeping through your legs. People with restless legs describe it as throbbing, pulling, itching, tugging, or tingling and feel as if something is crawling inside their legs. These feelings make an urge to move around. Moving eases the feeling temporarily and returns when you lie back down. It disrupts your sleep and can disturb your sleeping partner.

Restless Legs Syndrome is a condition categorized as a neurological sensory disorder with symptoms that are made from within the brain itself. This cause of this condition may involve the neurotransmitter dopamine. It may have a genetic component that results from a lack of iron and might get worsen in a stressful situation. Also, iron deficiency along with alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine may worsen the condition. Medications such as anti-depression, anti-nausea, and anti-psychosis may also trigger the condition.

Restless Legs Syndrome could affect people of any age. It affects women twice as often as men, and is mainly dominant during pregnancy, although in those cases it usually disappears after the baby is born. Several people experience Restless Legs Syndrome as a chronic condition, either unceasing or recurrent, and for those, it tends to worsen with age.

Is Restless Legs Syndrome Overhyped or Underdiagnosed?  

Lots of sources describe Restless Legs Syndrome as common, undertreated, and underdiagnosed which encourages people who experience the unpleasant condition to seek medical help.

Non-Drug Therapies for Restless Legs Syndrome

Most cases of Restless Legs Syndrome can be treated with non-drug therapies such as lifestyle changes. Here are some therapies that medical professionals have found helpful with patients:

  • Cold or heat packs applied to the legs
  • Good sleep hygiene
  • Moderate daily exercise with special attention to leg-stretching exercises
  • A warm bath or cool shower before bed
  • Massaging or stretching the legs and feet after exercise and before going to bed
  • Lessening the use of tobacco and alcohol
  • Foot wraps that put pressure underneath the foot
  • Daily meditation, especially a full or shortened version of the body-scan meditation
  • Find out how to treat nighttime leg cramps
  • Sleeping later into the morning and going to bed later. For several people, the symptoms decrease in the morning hours.
  • Iron supplements are usually helpful for those who find they have low or low-normal blood tests known as ferritin and transferrin saturation.

As with medication treatment research hasn’t shown that any of these could prevent or cure Restless Legs Syndrome. Nevertheless, they don’t cost anything to try and aren’t likely to create dangerous side effects.

Medical Treatments

In recent years, doctors have begun using a broad group of medications to treat moderate-to-severe Restless Legs Syndrome.  Both dopaminergic agents and anti-seizure drugs have been approved by the FDA. There is also an FDA-approved treatment medical device that helps some people but can make the condition worse in others. Relative to drug therapy, researchers say:

  • The drugs can be expensive
  • Most have serious side effects
  • Most are recommended for short-term use only
  • None offers a cure for Restless Legs Syndrome
  • No single drug works for all people

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