Restless Leg Syndrome
If you have restless leg syndrome, or RLS, you likely have an incredible and irresistible urge to move your legs. Although not painful, the condition is uncomfortable and bothersome, particular as it often affects you at night while you are trying to sleep.
In fact, according to Medscape, about 85 percent of people who have restless leg syndrome, have periodic movements of sleep, whereby they have involuntary backward flexing of the foot occurring on average every 30 seconds and lasting up to five seconds throughout their sleep.
Causes of RLS
At this time, unfortunately, the specific causes of RLS are not known. While research is still being conducted, one theory is that abnormal brain chemicals related to your neurotransmitters that help to control movement may be a causal factor. Another theory is that areas of the central nervous system abnormalities that controls automatic movements may be involved in the condition.
Secondary restless leg syndrome may be a result of another medical condition. Two of the most common medical conditions suggested to be linked to restless legs syndrome are iron-deficiency anemia (or having a abnormally low blood count) and peripheral neuropathy ( a condition often associated with diabetes that involves damage to the nerves in the legs, arms, and especially in the feet.)
It’s important to know though that in many cases the cause of RLS in patients is undiagnosed.
Potential Medical Treatments for RLS
According to the National Sleep Foundation, 98 percent of people experiencing restless leg syndrome in a study found relief from their RLS symptoms after being treated with non-surgical sclerotherapy for varicose veins in their legs.
Many physicians believe that RLS is caused by underlying vein problems that when treated with this outpatient procedure, patients can find relief. Dr. Chris Pittman offers visual and ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy here at Vein 911 in Tampa, FL.
Other Ways to Lessen the Symptoms of RLS
There are several other remedies that you can look into that may help you reduce your RLS symptoms. You can:
- Check to see if you have an underlying iron, folate or B12 deficiency, and if so, take the appropriate supplement.
- Investigate the medications you are taking to see if they could potentially be making your RLS symptoms worse. These may include medications used to treat depression, heart conditions, high blood pressure, allergies, colds, and nausea.
- Reduce or eliminate your alcohol intake.
- Try walking or stretching your legs.
- Try taking a hot bath at night before bed.
- Apply warm or cold packs to the muscles in your legs
- Try yoga or massage.
If you are having trouble sleeping and believe you have restless legs syndrome, we encourage you to give us a call here at Vein 911 in Tampa, FL at 855-396-8846. We are Tampa vein care specialists who will work with you to find viable treatment options for your restless legs syndrome symptoms.