Do you have restless leg syndrome? If so, you’re not alone. This common condition, also known as Willis-Ekbom Disease, affects millions of people each year. In this blog post, we’ll explore the causes of restless leg syndrome and offer some tips on how to manage the condition. We hope you find this information helpful.
What is Restless Leg Syndrome (RSL)?
RLS is a neurological disorder that causes an irresistible urge to move one’s legs. This urge is often accompanied by uncomfortable sensations such as prickling, tingling, or burning.
Typically, the involuntary leg motions occur at rest and are frequently alleviated by physical activity.
Why Is It Called Willis-Ekbom Disease?
RLS is also known as Willis-Ekbom disease. It was first described in 1945 by Swedish neurologist Karl-Axel Ekbom. The condition is named after him and Dr. Thomas Willis, an English physician who first described the symptoms in 1685.
What Percent Of The Population Has Restless Leg Syndrome?
Restless leg syndrome affects 7% of the population in the United States, with approximately 3% experiencing severe symptoms. The syndrome occurs twice as frequently in females as opposed to males and increases with the number of births a woman has experienced.
From intense research, scientists have observed that the syndrome appears to worsen with age. It is often misdiagnosed as “growing pains” in children, and it can also be mistaken for attention deficit disorder.
What Are the Symptoms of Restless Leg Syndrome?
Below are some common signs and symptoms of the syndrome:
Sensations that emerge during rest: Usually, the feeling comes on after a long time of lying down or sitting, like in a car, an airplane, or a movie theater.
Nocturnal leg twitching: RLS may be accompanied by periodic limb movement while sleeping, a more common condition that causes the legs to twitch and kick every so often while sleeping.
RLS symptoms are often described as intense, uncomfortable feelings in the legs or feet. They almost always occur on both sides of the body, however they do affect the arms less frequently.
What Triggers Restless Leg Syndrome?
Most of the time, the exact cause is unknown. However, these are common contributing factors:
- Iron Deficiency
- Multiple sclerosis
- Parkinson’s disease
- Rheumatic diseases
- Venous insufficiency
What Is The Most Effective Treatment For Restless Legs?
Non-pharmacological treatment options could include iron replacement, mental stimulation exercises, and abstinence from irritants such as caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol. Pharmacologic treatment prescribed treatments for this condition include medications that affect dopamine levels. Other treatment options may include exercise, massage, and dietary changes.