5 Best Treatments And Home Remedies For Restless Leg Syndrome
If you have an urge to keep moving your legs due to an uncomfortable feeling you might be having restless leg syndrome. RLS affects individuals of all ages, but it is more prevalent among adults. Although it is a common condition, there is still no conclusive research on what causes it.
Doctors and scientists define it as a neurological disorder whose key features are creeping, pulling and other unpleasant feelings on the legs.
In most instances, the symptoms will occur at night when you are relaxing or resting, and the sensation will range from a mild discomfort to severe pain on the legs. But, the good thing is that there are numerous home remedies for restless leg syndrome.
The most striking aspect of the infirmity is that if you try to relax or lie down you will activate its symptoms and by moving your feet or walking around will give you some relief.
Scientists and researchers estimate that it affects close to ten percent of the adult population in the United States and about a million school-age children also have the problem. If you do not seek treatment, the condition can cause daytime fatigue and exhaustion.
What Causes Restless Leg Syndrome
More research on RLS is still ongoing, and scientists will probably need to run more studies to determine the precise cause of the condition because the data available is not very conclusive. However, there are some common things that doctors will associate with it, and they are what they will consider as the common causes.
1. Genetic Component
RLS is a condition that you will find in various families where it will affect several members and so doctors suspect that it is a result of some particular gene variant. In most cases, the onset of the symptoms will be before the family members turn 40. And so you are more likely to have it if one or more people in your family have it.
2. Chronic Diseases
This condition can also come with chronic illnesses such as kidney problems, peripheral neuropathy, and diabetes. RLS will also be a symptom of these ailments and so treating the underlying problem can help get rid of the problem.
Close to 20% of all pregnant women will develop RLS, and this is more so in the last trimester of their pregnancy. However, in ordinary cases, the symptoms should go away within a month after delivery.
4. Iron Deficiency
Iron deficiency causes anemia which in turn comes with symptoms of RLS. However, if this is the reason why you have it the symptoms should go away if you take iron tablets.
5. Medication Side-Effects
Most medicines will have some side effects, and their severity will vary from one to the other. For some, you will get restless legs syndrome, and the most common ones that come with this side effect include antidepressants, lithium, metoclopramide, and beta-blockers.
Symptoms Of Restless Leg Syndrome
It is hard for most people to explain or express the feeling that they have in the legs with RLS. Whereas for some, it feels like a toothache or water running through the legs for others it is an electric feeling.
Others will even describe it as a sharp pain in the legs that goes away if they move the legs or walk around. However, the following are some of the typical symptoms that you should watch out for to know that you have this condition.
- An irritating feeling in the legs that makes you want to keep on moving them is the most common symptom of RLS. This symptom will in most cases develop when you are resting, and this is more when lying in bed or sitting down. But, it is also common to have the same feeling in your arms and other body parts.
- Sudden jerks or involuntary movement of the legs is another common symptom of this condition. In fact, close to 90% of people with the disease will experience sudden jerks of their legs when resting. Although the involuntary movements will occur when you are sleeping and wake you up in some instances, they can come when you are awake.
- Most people with RLS will also be persistently tired even if they did not engage in any rigorous activities. They can also have daytime tiredness, and this is because the restlessness will in most cases interfere with their sleep.
- The itchy and burning feeling in the leg is also another feeling that some people with RLS might have, and in most cases, this will make them panic thinking that there is something very wrong with their legs.
- Muscle cramps are also a symptom of RLS, but they are not very severe because walking around should be able to ease the pains.
5 Best Treatments And Home Remedies For Restless Leg Syndrome
Taking medicines for any underlying condition that might be causing the problem is in most cases enough to cure the condition. However, if you do not have any underlying problem, you can use over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen to ease the pain. The good idea is to consult a doctor for professional advice on the best medicines to take.
2. Relaxing The Muscles
Relaxing the muscles on the legs with alternating warm and cold packs can also offer you some relief. Apart from this you can also soak the feet in a whirlpool or a hot bath and massage the legs gently before bed.
Moderate exercise during the day (early morning) can offer you some relief if you have RLS because they will help relax and make the muscles loose. Stretching leg muscles can help ease tension and prevent the condition. Yoga and meditation can also be effective home remedies.
4. Dietary Supplements
For some people, RLS comes as a result of a deficiency of different minerals and vitamins such as magnesium, folic acid, and iron. And so taking the supplements can help ease the condition but talk to your doctor before taking over-the-counter supplements as they can react to other medications that you might be taking.
5. Sleep Hygiene
Restless Leg Syndrome will interfere with your sleep and lead to daytime fatigue, and so you can help break the cycle with a sleep schedule. Making sure that you go to bed and wake up at the same time can limit the effect that RLS will have in your life.
Apart from this, you should also engage in light exercises that make you relax before going to bed, and they can include things like taking a warm bath, meditating or even reading a book.
Although there are many home remedies for restless leg syndrome, the best thing is to prevent it if you do not have it yet. To do this, you should avoid alcohol and caffeine in the evening and smoking because smokers are more likely to get the condition. However, you should not let it dictate your life, and if you think that it is getting out of hand, the best move is to consult a professional.