Restless Leg Syndrome Symptoms

Restless Leg Syndrome Symptoms

Restless leg syndrome symptoms

Restless leg syndrome symptoms (RLS), also known as Willis-Ekbom disease (WED) is a treatable medical condition which causes an uncontrollable impulse to move in the legs (and sometimes the arms). People with RLS experience a irritating tugging or pulling sensation in their legs. This sensation is typically much worse in the evening or throughout the night while you are at rest whether you are sitting or lying down. Moving your legs temporarily alleviates the unpleasant sensation.

Willis-Ekbom disease (WED), can originate at an early age but is more common in people 50 years or older. WED generally gets worse as you age. It may often disrupt sleep, which in turn interferes with your daily activities.

Basic lifestyle changes along with some simple self-care might be all that is needed to eliminate the symptoms. There are also medications available to help people suffering with restless legs syndrome.

What are the symptoms of RLS/WED?

The primary symptom is an overwhelming urge to move one’s legs (and sometimes arms). Some common additional characteristics of RLS/WED are:

  • Growing restless after sitting. The urge to moves one’s legs typically starts after one has been sitting or lying down (such as in an airplane, movie theater or a car) for an extended period of time.
  • Symptoms improve with movement. The tugging and pulling sensations associated with RLS/WED improve after moving. Standing, walking, stretching, pacing, jiggling or massaging your legs can provide relief.
  • Symptoms get worse in the evening. Symptoms present themselves almost exclusively or get worse at night.
  • Leg twitching at night. RLS/WED seems to be closely associated with a much more common medical condition. Periodic limb movement during sleep is when your legs kick and twitch while your in bed, possibly all through the night.

Sufferers usually report that their restless leg syndrome symptoms are worse at night. They are characterized as atypical, disturbing pulling or tugging felt deep inside the legs or feet (and sometimes arms). It is typical that the sensation manifests on both sides of the body (bilateral). Although less common, the condition can also affect the arms.

These sensations, which are generally felt deep inside the leg not on the surface, have been described as:

  • Tugging
  • Creeping
  • Crawling
  • Throbbing
  • Aching
  • Pulling
  • Electric
  • Itching
  • Pulsing

Sometimes restless leg syndrome symptoms sufferers have a hard time describing the sensations. It is rare that an affected person describes the condition as numbness or a muscle cramp. However, the majority do consistently report an overpowering yearning to move their legs.

It is common for restless leg syndrome symptoms to come and go. They commonly fluctuate in severity. Symptoms will even sometimes disappear for periods of time, only to return at a later time.

When should I visit my doctor?

Make an appointment to visit a vein center if you notice the sensation of tugging or pulling deep in your legs. A doppler ultrasound noninvasive, painless exam can give a lot of informeation. Help is available. Many RLS/WED sufferers put off seeking help because they are afraid that there is nothing that can be done or that the doctor won’t believe them. Don’t let fear stop you from living your life to its fullest. RLS/WED can lead to sleepless nights and lethargic days. If RLS/WED is lessening you quality of life, don’t wait. Talk to your doctor today. RLS/WED is a serious medical condition that your doctor can treat.

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