Do you have restless leg syndrome? If so, you’re not alone. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, restless leg syndrome (RLS) is a common disorder that affects up to 10 percent of the population in the United States. Restless leg syndrome refers to the unpleasant sensations in your legs and an uncontrollable urge to move them. The symptoms are often most severe in the evening or at night when you’re relaxing or trying to sleep, but they can also affect you during the day. Restless leg syndrome mainly results from both a neurological condition and genetics. Although restless leg syndrome may be hereditary, it is also brought on by the lack of iron in your diet or certain medications. If you experience any symptoms related to RLS, you need to see a specialist in treating restless leg syndrome in El Paso as soon as possible. Read on to learn about restless leg syndrome symptoms and how to treat the disorder.
Usually, RLS may cause symptoms that vary from one patient to another. However, most people with the condition experience sensations such as:
- Aching, throbbing, or a gnawing feeling in the legs
- The overwhelming urge to move your legs, which is usually worse when you’re sitting or lying down
- Tension or tightness in the muscles of your legs
- Burning, itching, prickling, or creeping sensations in your legs
While some people may also experience discomfort or annoyance, this is not the case with everyone. In some extreme cases, RLS can be so severe that it can even interrupt your concentration and decision-making abilities while you’re working at a desk.
While the actual cause is unknown, there are some theories about why restless leg syndrome occurs. The most common theory regarding RLS suggests that your brain’s basal ganglia malfunctions and cannot regulate nerve impulses that control your muscles. This malfunction can result in pain, anxiety, or a tingling sensation in the legs because of abnormal nerve activity. These symptoms are typically made worse when your legs are resting, which explains why the condition is also referred to as Willis-Ekbom disease or dopamine deficiency syndrome.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to treating restless leg syndrome. However, a few treatments are effective in relieving the symptoms. One common method is to take medications that can increase the dopamine levels in your brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps control movement, and by increasing the levels of dopamine, you can help relieve the symptoms of restless leg syndrome. Another approach is to make dietary changes and increase your intake of iron. Iron is essential for healthy nerve function, and by ensuring that you’re getting enough iron in your diet, you may be able to reduce the symptoms of restless leg syndrome. In some cases, lifestyle changes such as cutting back on caffeine or alcohol can also help. If another medical condition causes your restless leg syndrome, your doctor may prescribe medications to treat that condition.
In summary, RLS refers to the unpleasant sensations in your legs and an uncontrollable urge to move them. It causes aching, throbbing, or gnawing sensations in the legs. Experts suggest that RLS may result from the brain’s basal ganglia malfunction, making regulating nerve impulses that control your muscles challenging. Treatment involves medications, lifestyle modifications, and dietary changes.