Do you have restless legs syndrome? It is a miserable condition to have and we see it in multiple patients that we see (though they have come to us for another reason). We can only empathise with the impact that it has on their sleep and quality of life.
Restless Legs Syndrome is a nerve condition that is typically characterised by annoying sensations within the lower limbs and the compelling need to slowly move the legs, commonly only when attempting to rest. This peculiar feeling, often in the calves, is explained as a form of a cramp, ache or simply a creeping, crawling sensation. Some compare the sensation to being like shooting darts of electricity, and even invasive bugs inside the legs. These feelings range in extent from uncomfortable to irritating to agonizing.
One of the most unique feature of the condition is that lying down and seeking to relax leads to the restlessness. Because of this, a lot of people with restless legs syndrome experience difficulty going to sleep and also remaining asleep. Left untreated, the disorder results in lethargy and day time weariness.
Individuals with restless legs syndrome sense unpleasant sensations within their lower limbs, particularly if seated or lying down, together with an hard to resist urge to move the legs. These types of feelings commonly take place deep within the leg, typically between knee and ankle; and less often, they will appear in the feet, thighs, arms, and even the hands. Although the symptoms can happen on just one side of the body, they generally impact both sides. Since moving the lower limbs reduces the discomfort, individuals with restless legs syndrome generally keep their lower limbs in motion to attenuate or stay away from the sensations. They may pace the floor, constantly moving the legs while sitting, and move when in bed.
A lot of sufferers notice the feelings of restless legs syndrome being much less apparent during the day and more noticeable later in the day or at night, primarily during the start of sleep. For some people, the symptoms disappear by early morning, allowing for more refreshing sleep at that time. Other triggering situations are periods of inactivity such as long car trips, sitting in a movie theatre, long-distance flights, immobilisation in a cast, or relaxation exercises.
The cause is unknown but people with a family background of restless legs syndrome make-up about 50% of the cases, and sufferers with reduced iron ranges or anaemia, chronic diseases for example kidney failure, all forms of diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and peripheral neuropathy, some women who are pregnant during the last trimester and people taking particular prescription drugs are most often more prone to to be affected by restless legs syndrome.
Restless legs syndrome can impact anyone of any age, although the problem is much more frequent with advancing age. This happens in both genders, even though the occurrence may be somewhat higher in women. At times individuals will experience spontaneous reduction on symptoms over a duration of weeks or months. While uncommon, spontaneous improvement following a number of years may take place. In the event that these improvements come about, in most cases during the early stages of the disorder. In most cases, however, sensations are more serious over time.
The clinical diagnosis of restless legs syndrome might be hard to establish. Doctors must depend mostly on the sufferer’s descriptions of symptoms and details using their medical history, including earlier health conditions, family history, and also present prescription drugs. Patients might well be inquired about how often, length, as well as the intensity of sensations along with their inclination toward day sleeping patterns and sleepiness, disruption of sleep, or daytime function. In case a persons history is an indication of restless legs symptoms, clinical assessments can be implemented to eliminate other issues and confirm the diagnosis of restless legs syndrome. Blood tests, assessments to measure electrical signals in the muscles as well as nerves, and other assessments in order to look at muscle signals with the legs may be suggested. These kinds of tests can easily document any accompanying injury or disease in the nerves or neural roots or some other leg-related motion disorders.