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Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)

Have you ever experienced an uncontrollable urge to move your legs? If you have, one possible cause is restless leg syndrome (RLS).  This uncomfortable condition is very common, particularly in adults. The condition usually comes about after a period of rest--sitting at a desk, sleeping, etc.  Usually moving around a little bit helps to calm things down.  Typically, symptoms tend to be worse in the evening hours.

This condition comes under the auspices of chronic pain syndromes because it tends to be chronic, seeing that at present there is no known cure.  It is not overtly painful, but the restless sensation is described as "unpleasant."Some people describe it as creeping or throbbing. A doctor can diagnose RLS based on patient history, physical exam, and laboratory tests (especially for iron levels).

It's not clear what causes RLS but it's thought to be an imbalance of hormones in the brain.  Heredity may play a role, and sometimes women first notice the issue during pregnancy.  There are some risk factors for RLS including peripheral neuropathy, iron deficiency, and renal failure.

Current treatments include medications that affect dopamine levels in the brain. In addition, correction of iron deficiency may be of help for some patients.  Home remedies include massage, relaxation techniques, practicing good sleep hygiene, and elimination of caffeine from the diet.  👶👶

Sources:; MayoClinic:


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