Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)
Restless leg syndrome (RLS) causes pain and discomfort in the legs, especially in the evenings or when falling asleep. This problem can occur at any age, but becomes more common with age. RLS disrupts sleep, makes it hard to walk or stand, and makes travel wore difficult.
Symptoms Of Restless Leg Syndrome
The compelling desire to move is what gives restless legs syndrome its name. Common characteristics of RLS signs and symptoms include:
- Sensation starts after being at rest. The sensation typically begins after you've been lying down or sitting for an extended time, such as in a car, airplane or movie theater.
- Relief by movement. The sensation of RLS lessens with movement, such as stretching, jiggling your legs, pacing or walking.
- Worsening of symptoms in the evening. Symptoms occur mainly at night.
- Nighttime leg twitching. RLS may be associated with another, more common condition called periodic limb movement of sleep, which causes your legs to twitch and kick, possibly throughout the night, while you sleep.
People typically describe restless legs syndrome symptoms as abnormal, unpleasant sensations in their legs or feet, usually on both sides of the body. Less commonly, the sensations affect the arms.
The sensations, which generally occur within the limb rather than on the skin, are described as:
Sometimes the sensations seem to defy description. Affected people usually don't describe the condition as a muscle cramp or numbness. They do, however, consistently describe the desire to move their legs.
It's common for symptoms to fluctuate in severity. In some cases, symptoms disappear for periods of time, and then recur.
Causes Of Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)
Often, there's no known cause for restless legs syndrome. Researchers suspect the condition may be due to an imbalance of the brain chemical dopamine, which sends messages to control muscle movement
Sometimes RLS runs in families, especially if the condition starts before age 40. Researchers have identified sites on the chromosomes where genes for RLS/WED may be present.
Pregnancy or hormonal changes may temporarily worsen RLS signs and symptoms. Some women get RLS for the first time during pregnancy, especially during their last trimester. However, signs and symptoms usually disappear after delivery.
Restless Leg Syndrome
Restless Leg Syndrome Home Remedies:
There are several home remedies which help combat this problem.
Walking is the best way to exercise your legs. Lack of exercise and over exercising can result in restless leg syndrome. Whenever you have RSL walk around your house and surroundings to calm RLS. Exercising not only distracts your body, but your brain can distract your mind and ease symptoms. Read, play games, and craft are a few ways to exercise your brain.
Avoid caffeine and caffeinated products like coffee, tea, chocolates, and even over-the-counter medication. Caffeine disrupts the body’s natural way of sleeping which causes restless legs.
Stress does not cause but exacerbates RLS. Regular exercise and relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, and visualization offer relief from stress. Relax your mind before bed to prevent restless legs at night.
4. Hot or Cold Compress
Changing temperature will relieve restless legs by calming the sensations in your limbs. Start with a cold compress by draping a cool towel over your legs and put your feet in cool water. Then switch to a hot pack. Alternately, take a warm bath with apple cider vinegar, Epsom salt and baking soda water before bed.
5. Cut Down Alcohol and Tobacco
Avoid alcohol and tobacco as these substance trigger restless leg syndrome. Tobacco contains nicotine and both active and passive smoking makes RLS worse. Alcohol has detrimental effects on your sleep. Avoid these to get relief from restless leg syndrome.
6. Good Sleep
Going to sleep and waking up at the same time helps your mind and body to settle down and relax. Make sure your sleeping environment is cool, quiet, and comfortable. Experts believe that wearing socks to bed also helps as cold feet makes RLS worse. Many believe that putting a bar of soap under the sheets at the bottom of bed reduces nighttime cramping. As this is harmless, try it out to see if it works for you.
7. Massage and Stretching
Try to stretch your calves, hamstrings, and gluteal muscles before bed. Take a warm bath and massage your legs before going to bed to relax your muscles. Do this regularly for best results.
8. Chamomile Tea
Chamomile is a stress-relieving herb which helps RLS by inducing sleep. Steep a teaspoon of dried chamomile herb in a cup of hot water for 10 minutes and drink twice daily.
Acupuncture, a traditional needle-based Chinese therapy, is one stress-relief alternative which has been known to help RLS. Consult your doctor before trying this method.
10. Diet Plan
A proper diet is the best defense against RLS as it is caused by the deficiency of iron, folic acid, magnesium, vitamin E, calcium, and vitamin B in the body. Eat foods rich in essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals such as black strap molasses, wheat germ, oysters, fish, leafy green vegetables, orange juice, and beans.
Restless Leg Syndrome
Tips for Restless Leg Syndrome Treatment (RLS):
- Drink plenty of water every day to stay hydrated, especially when exercising. Dehydration makes RLS worse.
- Watch your weight as it is one of the causes of restless leg syndrome. Putting too much weight and stress on the legs causes more problems with RLS.
- Turn off the television or computer at least 30 minutes before bed so that you will sleep better. Your bedroom should always be free of the television and computer.
- Many believe that having sex helps relieve RLS symptoms, although there is no real evidence of this. One reason may be an intimate encounter helps relieve stress.
- Drink 1/4 cup of tonic water with quinine before bed as quinine settles the nervous system and relieves restless legs.
- Apply mentholated creams and ointments to your legs to relieve RLS.
- 30 leg lunges (for each leg) before bed relaxes muscles and tones your thighs.
- Take apple cider vinegar tablets or drink a glass of water with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar before bed to settle the nervous system.
- Avoid sinus and cold medications as they can make RLS worse. When sick, consult your doctor for other treatments or medications.
- Do not sit or stand in one position for extended periods of time.
- Always wear comfortable shoes at home and work to relieve RLS.