What Does Restless Leg Syndrome Feel Like?

Have you ever wondered what it feels like to have restless leg syndrome? Many people have it and do not know what restless legs really are. Consequently, they suffer without the treatment necessary to alleviate their symptoms. But this doesn’t have to be you.

What is Restless Leg Syndrome?  

Restless leg syndrome is considered a movement disorder as well as a sleep and neurological disorder that typically affects the legs, but can also affect the arms, head and even the chest. The syndrome, also called Willis-Ekbom disorder, affects about ten percent of the US population, making it difficult for them to sit still or get quality sleep at night.

Restless leg syndrome can also cause depression and anxiety by causing someone to feel uncomfortable around others. Some even avoid telling their physician about their symptoms for fear of not being taken seriously.

Most people describe restless legs as just that, legs that are restless. They feel the uncontrollable urge to move their legs. What causes this urge can vary from person to person. Some people describe the sensation as electricity running through their legs, and others describe it as a creeping or crawling sensation. Some of the most common descriptions of the sensations include:

  • Itching
  • Burning
  • Throbbing
  • Pulling
  • Pins and Needles
  • Numbness

Some people state they can’t describe the sensations other than an irresistible urge to move them.

Many people find RLS painful, making it difficult to relax at night while sitting. RLS can also interfere with getting quality sleep, either making it difficult to fall asleep or waking up during the night.

Causes and Treatments of Restless Leg Syndrome 

While it’s not definitively known what causes this disorder, some researchers have found a correlation between lower levels of dopamine in the brain and RLS symptoms. Other conditions have also been associated with RLS including:

  • Pregnancy
  • Spinal Cord Conditions
  • Heredity
  • Kidney Failure
  • Iron Deficiency
  • Peripheral Neuropathy

Treatments are usually geared toward alleviating symptoms. Medications such as Requip or Sinemet (a Parkinson’s medication) can help increase dopamine levels and alleviate RLS sensations. Other medications used to treat peripheral neuropathy, such as Lyrica, or Neurontin can also be helpful.

In the case iron deficiency, treatment of the underlying condition typically alleviated the issue. As for pregnancy, delivery of the baby typically causes the syndrome to resolve within a month of birth.

If you suffer from restless leg syndrome and need RLS treatment in St. Louis, contact the Sheen Vein Institute today for more information or to schedule an appointment. Our vein specialist has the experience necessary to provide the treatment you need to finally experience relief from RLS signs.

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