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What is Restless Legs Syndrome? Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Medically reviewed by Sandeep Dhanyamraju

Restless legs syndrome is a frequent problem that can have people. But if you have this condition, you should know that it does not lead to limitation of movement functions. Also, it does not contribute to the paralysis of a person. This problem hasn’t a specific reason but doctors consider some things that can provoke it.

Although restless legs syndrome does not lead to severe and irreparable consequences for the patient, its manifestations can bring discomfort. Sometimes, it can even cause conditions such as insomnia and depression.

What is restless legs syndrome? This disease with the legs typically occurs in the late time of day. This fact can answer such a question as “Why do people with this problem with their legs don’t want to sleep at night and then have daytime sleepiness?”.

 

What is Restless Legs Syndrome?

The disease is shown by an uncontrollable urge to shake the legs that causes pain or uncomfortable feelings. It manifests in the evening and at night when a person sits or lies. When the patient has shaky legs, his discomfort disappears or is relieved.

Restless legs syndrome has another name as Willis-Ekbom disease. It can begin at any age and tends to worsen with age. This disease can disrupt daytime activities and impair the quality of nighttime sleep.

We suggest you move to the next block of our article and figure out essential information about this condition.

 

What are Typical Symptoms of Restless Legs Syndrome?

One of the main symptoms of this problem is a strong desire to shake the legs. People with this problem say that they want to shake their legs even when they are calm. As a rule, these uncomfortable feelings that make the patient shake legs are noted on both sides. 

What are typical symptoms of restless legs syndrome

Sometimes patients say that they feel the next things:

  • Heaviness in the legs;
  • Pain;
  • Itching;
  • The occurrence of unpleasant electrical impulses.

Patients do not report the condition preceding the desire to jerk their legs as muscle spasms or numbness. At the same time, a persistent desire to move the legs still appears. Sometimes this condition goes away on its own.

 

You can also highlight these important signs:

  • Unpleasant sensations that begin during rest

Similar sensations can be observed by patients if they were sitting or lying for a long time in or places such as a movie theater;

  • Relief with movement

Patients with this condition show improvement during movement;

  • Shaky legs while sleeping

Some patients may also experience twitching of the extremities during nocturnal sleep. This problem that connects with a desire to shake the legs can be associated with periodic limb movement during sleep. This can cause the legs to twitch while sleeping.

So, we have considered why this condition can appear, and now we want to talk with you about restless leg syndrome’s causes.

 

What Сan Cause Restless Legs Syndrome?

There is no one exact reason why people can have restless leg syndrome’s cause. Some researchers say that it may be due to an imbalance of dopamine chemicals in people’s brains. This may be because it is dopamine that sends impulses to the brain to control leg movement functions.

However, doctors notice several theories that, in some cases, can be identified as the causes of this disease in patients. They include the next point:

  • Heredity

Sometimes restless legs syndrome can be inherited. Most often, this happens if the disease began before the age of 40. At the moment, scientists can determine the regions of the chromosomes where the presence of restless legs syndrome can be noted.

  • Pregnancy

Pregnancy, like hormonal changes, can temporarily worsen a person’s condition, causing restless legs syndrome. Some women do get the disease around the third trimester of pregnancy. In this case, the symptoms of this syndrome disappear after childbirth.

Occasionally, restless leg syndrome can occur in patients with nerve damage in the arms and legs. This, in turn, can occur against the background of diabetes or alcoholism.

  • Iron deficiency

This problem is also theoretically capable of causing restless legs syndrome or exacerbating it. You should check the status of iron in your body if you have experienced bleeding from the stomach or intestines, as well as heavy periods.

Some people who have this problem may be taking medications that make their legs shake.

 

What is the Treatment of Restless Legs Syndrome?

If a person has faced such a problem with his legs, he can receive some recommendations to help him to get rid of it. The method of getting rid of the syndrome of restless legs depends on the severity of the condition and the intensity of the symptoms themselves. Usually, the doctor prescribes some kind of treatment if the patient has insomnia or daytime sleepiness, which worsens his quality of life.

What is the treatment of restless legs syndrome

Let’s take a closer look at several treatment options for restless legs syndrome.

 

1. Non-pharmacological agents

Usually, the doctor recommends non-drug remedies to the patient to alleviate his condition. So, it could be:

  • Regular exercise, including cycling and walking. However, patients are not recommended to resort to exercise a few hours before a night’s sleep.
  • Quality sleep and preparation for it. This includes avoiding gadgets and watching TV a few hours before bedtime, as well as eliminating these things while lying in bed. It is also necessary to adhere to 7-9 hours of sleep and follow some other habits that form a quality night’s sleep.
  • Reduce consumption of foods that contain caffeine. This includes avoiding coffee, tea, cola, chocolate, and certain drugs, as well as cigarettes.
  • Cold compresses, which the patient may apply to their nervous legs and rub in the legs. Additional options for influencing the legs can be massage, acupressure, walking, and other relaxation methods for the legs.
  • Taking a warm bath.
  • Taking magnesium supplements.
  • Getting rid of the stress in a person’s life. To do it, people can use methods such as yoga, light music, communication with nature, etc.

 

2. Medical methods

In some cases, a doctor may prescribe medication for the patient to get rid of this problem with the patient’s legs. Let’s consider what medication a doctor can advise you to solve this problem.

  • Iron supplement

As we have already said, a lack of iron in the patient’s body can provoke the appearance of restless legs syndrome. Accordingly, the doctor may prescribe drugs to balance the amount of iron in the human body.

  • Prescription drugs

If a person is severely tormented by nervous legs, particular prescription drugs may be indicated to him. So, it can be options such as:

  • Dopamine agonists;
  • Anticonvulsants;
  • Benzodiazepines;
  • Opioids;
  • Sedatives.

Keep in mind that you cannot independently prescribe drugs to yourself or your loved ones. You need to consult a doctor to determine the cause of this condition. After solving the problem that causes this condition, there is every chance for an improvement in the situation and even for the complete disappearance of the problem.

 

Lone Star Neurology is Always Ready to Help Patients with Their Problems

If you or your relatives face any neurology disease, we can advise you to visit our clinic Lone Star Neurology. Our high-quality doctors will diagnose and find the best way to cope with your condition. Call us at (214) 619-1910, and make an appointment.

 

We can help you to treat different neurological disorders such as:

We need to say that it is not a complete list of our help. We help our patients with plenty of diseases. Go to our website and read in more detail about our offers.

 

FAQ

  • What triggers restless leg syndrome?

Scientists have not found a specific cause of restless leg syndrome in patients, but there are several possible causes for the condition. For example, the causes may be stress, pregnancy, lack of iron in the body, and the consequences of taking certain drugs. Another reason may be damage to nerve cells, as a result of which the amount of dopamine in the human brain decreases, which causes muscle spasms and involuntary movements. This can be especially noticeable in the evening, when the amount of dopamine in the human body decreases, which leads to an increase in symptoms.

  • What are you lacking when you have restless leg syndrome?

One of the causes of restless legs syndrome is the lack of iron in the human body. This can lead to a decrease in the level of dopamine in the human body; as a result, the patient may experience restless leg syndrome.

  • How do you get rid of restless leg syndrome permanently?

If you want to get rid of restless legs syndrome, follow the following tips:

  • To take tests to check the level of iron in the body. 
  • If you’re stressed out a lot, get rid of the stress in your life and try ways to relax. 
  • Reconsider the drugs you can take for chronic diseases. Perhaps, you will find restless leg syndrome among their side effects

As for pregnant women, the syndrome resolves on its own after childbirth.

  • What does a restless leg indicate?

Restless legs syndrome is not an independent disease. It is a symptom indicating a certain condition in the body. This syndrome can signal a lack of iron in the human body and, as a result, iron deficiency anemia, as well as kidney failure. Also, restless legs syndrome can signal stress and tension in a person’s life and be an accompanying moment of pregnancy.

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Edward Medina
Edward Medina
15:34 30 Jun 22
Just such an amazing staff that makes you feel like part of their family. I’ve been going there for over 5 years now... and each visit I get the very best care and treatments that I have ever received in the 20+ years that I’ve been dealing with severe debilitating migraines. Since i started seeing them the number of my migraines has dropped from 15-20 a month to 2-3 every 3 month. I highly recommend them …they will change your life!read more
Daneisha Johnson
Daneisha Johnson
22:20 19 May 22
Dr. Askari was very kind and explained everything so I could understand. The other staff were nice as well. I would... have gave 5 stars but I was a little taken aback when I checked in and had to pay 600.00 upfront. I think that should have been discussed in a appointment confirmation call or email just so I could have been prepared.read more
Jean Cooper
Jean Cooper
16:54 29 Apr 22
I love the office staff they are friendly and very helpful. Dr. JODIE is very caring and understanding to your needs... and wants to help you. I will go back. would recommend Dr. Dr. Jodie to other Patients in a heart beat. The team works well together.read more
Linda M
Linda M
19:40 02 Apr 22
I was obviously stressed, needing to see a neurologist. The staff was so patient and Dr. Ansari was so kind. At one... point he told me to relax, we have time, when I was relaying my history of my condition. That helped ease my stress. I have seen 3 other neurologists and he was the only one who performed any assessment tests on my cognitive and physical skills. At one point I couldn't complete two assessments and got upset and cried. I was told, it's OK. That's why you're here. I was truly impressed, and super pleased with the whole experience!read more
Leslie Durham
Leslie Durham
15:05 01 Apr 22
I've been coming here for about 5 years. The staff are ALWAYS friendly and knowledgeable. The Doctors are the absolute... best!! Jodie Moore is always in such a great mood which is a plus when you are already stressed. Highly recommendedread more
Monica Del Bosque
Monica Del Bosque
14:13 25 Mar 22
Since my first post my thoughts have changed here. It's unfortunate. My doctor and PA were great, but the office staff... is horrible. They never call you back when they say they will, they misinform you, they cause you too much stress wondering what's going on, they don't keep you posted. They never answer the phone. At this point I've left four messages in the last week, and I have sent three messages. Twice from their portal and one direct email. No response. My appointment is on Monday morning at 8:30am, no confirmation on my insurance and what's going on. What the heck is going on, this is ridiculous!I've given up... the stress her office staff has put me through is just not worth it. You can do so much better, please clean house, either change out your office staff, or find a way for them to be more efficient please. You have to do something. This is not how you want to run your practice. It leaves a very bad impression on your business.read more
Ron Buckholz
Ron Buckholz
23:32 23 Mar 22
I was actually pleasantly surprised with this visit! It took me a long time to get the appointment scheduled because no... one answers your phones EVER! After a month, I finally got in, and your staff was warm, friendly, and I was totally impressed! I feel like you will take care of my needs!read more
Steve Nabavi
Steve Nabavi
16:28 16 Mar 22
It was a nice visit. Happy staff doing all they can do to comfort the patients in a very calming environment. You ask... me they are earned a big gold star on the fridge. My only complaint they didn't give me any cookies.read more
Katie Lewis
Katie Lewis
16:10 10 Feb 22
Had very positive appointments with Jodie and Dr. Sheth for my migraine care. Jodie was so fast with the injections and... has so much valuable info. I started to feel light headed during checkout and the staff was SO helpful—giving me a chair, water, and taking me into a private room until I felt better. Highly recommend this practice for migraine patients, they know what they’re doing!!read more
Joshua Martinez
Joshua Martinez
16:02 10 Dec 21
I was scheduled to be checked and just want to say that the staff was fantastic. They were kind and helpful. I was... asked many questions related to what was going on and not once did I feel as though I was being brushed off. The front desk staff was especially great in assisting me. I'm scheduled to go back for a mri and am glad that I'll be going there.read more
Isabel Ivy
Isabel Ivy
21:42 03 Nov 21
I had such a good experience with Lone Star Neurology, Brent my MRI Tech was so awesome and made sure I was very... comfortable during the appointment. He gave me ear plugs, a pillow, leg support and blanket, easiest MRI ever lol 🤣 My 72 hour EEG nurse Amanda was also so awesome. She made sure I was take care of over the 3 days and took her time with the electrodes to make sure it was comfortable for me! Paige was also a huge help in answering all my questions when it came to my test results, and letting me know her honest opinions about how I should go forth with my treatment.read more
Leslie Luce
Leslie Luce
17:37 20 Oct 21
The professionalism and want to help attitude of this office was present from the moment I contacted them. The follow... up and follow through as well as their willingness to find a way to schedule my dad was above and beyond. We visited two offices in the same day with the same experience. I am appreciative of this—we spend a lot of time with doctors and this was top notch start to finish.read more
robert Parker
robert Parker
16:38 16 Apr 21
I love going to this office. The staff is friendly and helpful. The doctor is great. I am getting the best... neurological tests and treatment I have ever had. The only reason I did not give them a 5 star rating is because it is impossible to reach a live person at the office to reschedule appointments. Every time I have tried to get through to the office it says all people are busy and I am sent to a voicemail. If they could get their phone answering fixed, I would give them a strong 5 stars.read more
MaryAnn Hornbaker
MaryAnn Hornbaker
00:26 25 Feb 21
Dr. Harney is an excellent Dr. I found him friendly , personable and thorough. I evidently am an unusual case. ... Therefore he spent a Hugh amount of time educating me. He even gave me literature to further explain my condition and how to follow up. This is something you rarely get from your doctors. So I am more than please with my doctor and his staff.read more
Roger Arguello
Roger Arguello
03:05 29 Jan 21
Always courteous, professional. The staff is very friendly and always work with you to find the best appointment time.... The care team has been great. Always taking the time to listen to your concerns and to find the best treatment.read more
Margaret Rowland
Margaret Rowland
01:12 27 Jan 21
I have been a patient at Lone Star Neurology for several years. Now both my adult daughters also are patients there. I... love Jodie. She is always so prompt whether it is a teleamed call are a visit in the office. She takes the time to explain everything to me and answers all my questions. I am so blessed to have Jodie as my doctor.read more
Susan Miller
Susan Miller
03:01 13 Jan 21
My husband had an accident 5 years ago and Lone Star Neurology has been such a blessing to us with my husbands care.... Jodie Moore is his provider and she is amazing! Jodie is very knowledgeable, caring, and thorough. She takes her time with you, making sure your needs are met and she is happy to answer any questions you may have. Lone Star Neurology’s patients are very lucky to have Jodie providing their care. Thank you Lone Star Neurology and especially Jodie for everything you have done for us. Jodie, you are the best!read more
Windalyn C
Windalyn C
01:32 09 Jan 21
Jodie is wonderful. She is very caring and knowledgeable. I have been to over a dozen neurologists, and none were able... to help me as much as they have here. Thanks!read more
Katie Kordel
Katie Kordel
00:40 09 Jan 21
Jodi Moore, nurse practitioner, is amazing. I have suffered from frequent, debilitating headaches for almost 20 years.... She has provided the best proactive and responsive care I have ever received. My quality of life has been greatly improved by her caring approach and tenacity in finding solutions.read more
Ellie Natsis
Ellie Natsis
15:41 07 Jan 21
I have had the best experience at this neurologist's office! For over a year I have been receiving iv treatments here... each month and my nurse, Bobbie is beyond wonderful!! She's so attentive, knowledgeable, caring, and detail oriented. She makes an otherwise uncomfortable experience much more pleasant and definitely puts me at ease! She also helps me with my insurance,ordering this specialty medication and dealing with the ordering process which is no easy feat.Needless to say, she goes above a beyond in every way and I'm so grateful to this office and to Bobbie for all they do for me!read more
Matt Morris
Matt Morris
15:39 07 Jan 21
Let me start by saying that I have been coming here for years. Due to my autoimmune disease, I am in this office... once every three weeks for multiple hours at a time. The office is very clean and the staff very friendly. My only complaint would be there communication via phone. They aren't the best at responding if you leave a voicemail and expect a call back. I understand that this is prob just due to the sheer number of alls they receive daily. What I can say I like the best about the office are the people. Bobby who handles my infusions is great. I never have any issues with her setting up my infusions. She is very quick to reply to messages sent via text and if she were to leave then my whole opinion of the office may change. I also enjoy people like Matt, Lauren, and Jodi. I appreciate all that they do for me and without this team I'm not sure I would be as happy as I am to visit the office as frequently as I have to. Please ensure that these folks are recognized as they are what makes my visit to this office so tolerable :).read more
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