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Restless Legs Syndrome

What is Restless Legs Syndrome?

Restless legs syndrome is a sensor-motor (movement) disorder characterized by uncomfortable sensations in the legs. The uncomfortable sensations are worse during periods of inactivity or rest or while sitting or lying down.

Restless legs syndrome varies in its severity from mild causes causing a certain amount of discomfort to severe forms that lead to significant distress and sleep disturbance. Restless legs syndrome can develop at any age but it is more common in the more elderly population.

Restless legs syndrome is a life-long condition that cannot be cured. Symptoms of restless legs syndrome gradually worsen with age, and their most disabling feature is the sleep onset insomnia they cause, which can be severe. In rare cases of restless legs syndrome, the arms may also be affected.

Restless legs syndrome is also called RLS and Ekborn's Syndrome.

Symptoms of Restless Legs Syndrome

Individuals with restless legs syndrome describe the uncomfortable sensations as pulling, drawing, crawling, wormy, boring, tingling, pins and needles, prickly, and sometimes painful sensations that are usually accompanied by an overwhelming urge to move the legs.

What causes Restless Legs Syndrome?

The exact cause of restless legs syndrome is not known.

Can Restless Legs Syndrome be Treated?

The symptoms associated with restless legs syndrome can be treated but the disease itself cannot be treated. Types of treatment include: Massage and application of cold compresses to the legs and medications. Your doctor will prescribe medication that best fits you.

How is Restless Legs Syndrome diagnosed?

The doctor usually makes the diagnosis from the description of the symptoms given by the patient. The doctor may examine the sufferer mainly to rule out any other possible causes of leg pain and restlessness such as some nerve disorders. Blood tests may also be performed both to exclude other illnesses and to look for any associated conditions such as those described above.

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