Morning Rounds: Restless Leg Syndrome

The Morning Show

Dr. Nathan Walker was making the rounds this morning. He and Aaron discuss restless legs in today’s segment. 

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a condition that causes an uncontrollable urge to move your legs, usually because of an uncomfortable sensation. It typically happens in the evening or nighttime hours when you’re sitting or lying down. Moving eases the unpleasant feeling temporarily.

Restless legs syndrome, now known as restless legs syndrome/Willis-Ekbom disease (RLS/WED), can begin at any age and generally worsens as you age. It can disrupt sleep, which interferes with daily activities.

Simple self-care steps and lifestyle changes may help you. Medications also help many people with restless legs syndrome.

Symptoms

The chief symptom is an urge to move the legs. Common accompanying characteristics of RLS/WED include:

  • Sensations that begin after rest. The sensation typically begins after you’ve been lying down or sitting for an extended time, such as in a car, airplane or movie theater.
  • Relief with movement. The sensation of RLS/WED lessens with movement, such as stretching, jiggling your legs, pacing or walking.
  • Worsening of symptoms in the evening. Symptoms occur mainly at night.
  • Nighttime leg twitching. RLS/WED may be associated with another, more common condition called periodic limb movement of sleep, which causes your legs to twitch and kick, possibly throughout the night, while you sleep.

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