Restless legs

What are restless legs?

The medical term for restless legs is ‘’restless legs syndrome’’. Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a neurological disorder, which is characterized by throbbing, pulling, or other unpleasant feelings in the legs and an uncontrollable, and sometimes overwhelming urge to move them. Symptoms come throughout the day but especially at night, when a person is relaxed. Moving the legs relieves the discomfort. The most striking aspect of this condition is that lying down and trying to relax activates the symptoms. Most people with restless legs have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. If not treated, the condition causes exhaustion and fatigue during the day. Restless legs are common to approximately 10 to 15 percent of the population. Often the symptoms begin after the age of twenty. Making certain changes in his/her lifestyle can reduce the symptoms in subjects with mild to moderate RLS. One can think of decreased use of caffeine, alcohol and tobacco; supplement the deficiency of iron, folic acid and/or magnesium; change or maintain a regular sleep pattern; exercise more; and wearing compression stockings.

 

Note: Patients with varicose veins may also suffer from restless legs, but this is only at night, and is based on the change of body position and the presence of varicose veins.

 

Restless legs and compression stockings

Compression stockings can reduce the symptoms of restless legs. They promote blood circulation in the legs.

 

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