Restless Leg Syndrome Treatment Overview

Treatment for Restless Leg Syndrome is based on the type of symptoms you have and how bad your symptoms are. Getting enough sleep and regular exercise may relieve mild symptoms. When symptoms are severe and interfere with sleep and daily functioning, medications may be given. If your symptoms are being caused by another medical condition that certain condition can be treated first.

Initial Treatment

Having a change in daily routine helps you to control or reduce your symptoms. Changes in daily routine may include:

  • Exercising regularly
  • Walking
  • Stretching
  • Using massage
  • Taking a hot or cold bath
  • Avoiding alcohol, smoking, and caffeine
  • Losing weight if you are overweight

If your symptoms are caused by another medical condition such as iron deficiency anemia or diabetes, you will be treated for that condition first. For instance, if iron deficiency causes restless legs syndrome, you will be given iron supplements.

For Restless Leg Syndrome that starts during pregnancy, your doctor may give some conservative treatment to relieve symptoms, such as stretching and regular exercise. Your condition may be re-examined if it does not go away after you have given birth.

Children who have Restless Leg Syndrome are not usually treated with medications right away. First regular sleep and moderate exercise routines are tried. If this treatment is not effective, the doctor may prescribe medication.

Ongoing Treatment

If your symptoms do not improve, medications may be used to help you sleep and control the urge to move. Some of the medications may include:

  • Anticonvulsants such as Gabapentin (Neurontin)
  • Dopamine agonists such as Ropinirole (Requip)

In several cases, your doctor may recommend an opioid pain medicine including Tramadol.

If your doctor prescribed you medicine, make sure that you discuss expectations and understand the potential benefits and risks of the medicine. Let your doctor know about all of the other medications you are taking. Medications taken for other illnesses or disorders sometimes contribute to Restless Leg Syndrome. For instance, antidepressants in some people improve Restless Leg Syndrome but make it worse in others.

Treatment If The Condition Gets Worse

Progressively, treatment of Restless Leg Syndrome with a dopamine medication may not work as well as it did at first. This is called augmentation. You might notice that your symptoms:

  • Spread to another part of your body
  • Become more intense
  • Begin earlier in the day

Let your doctor know if you are taking a dopamine medication for Restless Leg Syndrome and your symptoms change. Do not stop taking your medication without discussing it first with your doctor. You can work with your doctor to decide what treatment is the best one for you.

If you still have your symptoms even though you are receiving treatment with medications and are practicing the change in your daily routine, your symptoms may need to be reassessed. Several other illnesses can cause the sensations found in Restless Leg Syndrome, including some mineral and vitamin deficiencies. Your doctor may recommend different medications or a combination of medicines. If your symptoms do not improve, follow up with your doctor

Other Treatment

A pneumatic compression device is another treatment that your doctor may give. This device pumps air in and out of sleeves to make them tight and loose around your legs while you are resting. However, this will only work if the medication given to you does not work well or does not improve your symptoms.

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