What is Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)?

Restless leg syndrome is a very common condition that may impact up to 3 million Americans. It involves a throbbing, aching, burning or pain in the feet or legs. People may irresistible urge to move the feet or legs. “Pins and needles” is a common description of the pain felt. The pain or other symptoms are worst at night and in the evenings. People often say that they cannot sleep because they have to keep moving their feet or legs.

The actual cause of restless leg syndrome is unknown and it is likely caused by different things in different people. In fact, nearly 25% of people diagnosed with restless leg syndrome actually have undiagnosed vein disease! This is good news because this is a very treatable condition!

How do you get Restless Leg Syndrome?

No single specific cause of Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) exists. However, many different probable causes have been identified.

These can include:

  • Vein disease
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Chronic pain conditions and neuropathy
  • Certain medications

How is Restless Leg Syndrome treated?

The best treatment for RLS is treatment of the underlying cause. The only cause that is truly curable is venous disease. Nearly 1 out of 4 RLS patients have venous disease, so we strongly recommend getting screened for this curable problem (links). If you have venous disease and RLS, there is a strong liklihood that your symptoms can be fixed.

Your doctor may prescribe medications for RLS. Ropinirole, pramipexole, and rotigotine are all drugs approved to treat moderate to severe RLS. These drugs are generally well tolerated but can cause nausea, dizziness, or other side effects.

Lifestyle modification can often be beneficial. Some tips to help RLS:

  • Cutting back on tobacco, alcohol or caffeine use
  • Moderate exercise. Keeping a regular sleep pattern
  • Applying heat or cold packs to your legs
  • Massaging the affected areas

If you are suffering from Restless Leg Syndrome, we would be happy to discuss potential treatment strategies with you. We accept all insurance plans. Come see us today!