Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is a common and sometimes
devastating condition. I see it quite frequently
in many of my chronic pain patients. In
fact, it contributes to quite a bit of chronic pain, because of the difficulty
it causes in terms of getting a good night's rest, and because it in and of
itself can be rather painful. And there
are diseases associated with chronic pain which can result in so-called
Restless Leg Syndrome is a nighttime condition that has a huge impact on
daytime functioning for those afflicted.
The diagnosis of RLS is mostly arrived at through interviews
with the patient, and basically involves four important features:
is a compelling need to move, usually associated with unpleasant
sensations in the legs, which have been described variously as painful,
electric or "creepy-crawly."
sensations of RLS are worse or exclusively present at rest.
sensations are at least partial...
There is no specific diagnostic test for RLS. If you suspect you may have the disorder, talk to your doctor as soon as you can. If possible, bring a diary of your sleep as well as a record of the occurrence and severity of your symptoms with you. Your doctor will conduct tests to rule out factors that may be causing the symptoms such as pregnancy, iron deficiency and end-stage renal failure. You can expect that he or she will ask what time your symptoms occur, when they are most severe, what you were doing before the onset of symptoms, and how much time elapses before you are able to get to sleep due to your RLS. Your doctor will also need a record of your sleep quality and quantity during the time when symptoms appear and whether or not you experienced any pain along with the RLS symptoms. Until recently, there were no FDA-approved drugs for the treatment of RLS. In May 2005, a drug called Requip® (ropinirole hydrochloride) that is commonly used to treat Parkinson disease was giv...
Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) is a neurologic sensorimotor disorder that is characterized by an overwhelming urge to move the legs when they are at rest. The urge to move the legs is usually, but not always, accompanied by unpleasant sensations. It is less common but possible to have RLS symptoms in the arms, face, torso, and genital region. RLS symptoms occur during inactivity and they are temporarily relieved by movement or pressure. Symptoms of RLS are most severe in the evening and nighttime hours and can profoundly disrupt a patient's sleep and daily life. RLS affects approximately 10% of adults in the U.S. Researchers believe that RLS is commonly unrecognized or misdiagnosed as insomnia or other neurological, muscular or orthopedic condition. RLS may also be confused with depression. According to the Restless Legs Syndrome Foundation, approximately 40% of people with RLS complain of symptoms that would indicate depression if assessed without knowledge or consideration of a sle...
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