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Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) is a condition characterized by uncomfortable crawling sensations felt inside the legs when at rest. Often the person must get up and move around to obtain relief.
People experience RLS in many different ways, but all describe very unpleasant
"creepy, crawly", even painful sensations that occur in the legs when they are sitting
or lying still, especially at bedtime. Although it affects mostly the legs, it can
also affect the arms. The uncomfortable feelings of RLS appear most often in the calves of the legs and
are temporarily relieved by stretching or moving the limb the sensation is in.
The constant need to stretch or move the limbs to relieve the sensations often prevents
a person from falling asleep. For this reason, a person with RLS might be very tired
during the day and unable to perform work or tasks well. Their social activities
may be hampered due to the excessive fatigue. RLS may interfere not only with a good night's sleep but may impact how long you
can sit still and travel by plane or car. The ability to sit still at the movies,
a concert or in business meetings may be impaired.
RLS is not related to emotional or psychological disorders. Five to ten people of every one hundred experience the uneasiness of RLS at some
point in their lives. RLS is more common in older individuals but may occur at any
age. RLS can be severe during pregnancy, especially the last six months. RLS may
come and go without any obvious cause over the course of a person's life.
The Cause of RLS
The cause of RLS is not known but there are some related conditions. Approximately 30
percent of RLS cases appear to be hereditary. Other related situations might include:
Disorders of the kidneys
Vitamin or mineral deficiencies
Consumption of caffeine
Remedies for RLS
A visit with a sleep specialist can help determine if you have RLs. There are some
home remedies that have worked for some people including:
Ice or hot packs.
Depending on the severity, your sleep physician may prescribe medications to help