We started our discussion about restless legs syndrome (RLS) in my recent blog, so let’s continue where we left off.
Mild symptoms of RLS occur in 5-15% of the general population, which makes it the second or third most common sleep disorder. Of these cases, only about 2-3% are considered clinically severe enough to require treatment. It appears to occur more commonly in females and can even affect children. Due to the difficult to describe leg sensations that are felt, children may be wrongly diagnosed with “growing pains” or even attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). RLS symptoms occur more commonly as we age. Individuals who experience symptoms at a younger age tend to worsen as they get older, though there cases when the disease resolves spontaneously when the sufferer gets older.
Sleep disturbance is a major complaint in patients and is usually the main reason why they seek medical help. Though the dis...
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...
The following are some tips for coping with RLS: Don't hide your symptoms -- talk to your friends, family, and colleagues about RLS so they know what to expect Practice yoga, Pilates, or other stretching techniques regularly, preferably late in the day Arrange your schedule to be able to sleep when your symptoms are least pronounced Choose an aisle seat at the movies or on airplanes so that you are able to move around if necessary Plan travel hours when symptoms are least severe and allow times for breaks There are also a number of RLS support groups around the country and they can help you learn new information about how others cope with RLS. For a list of such groups, go to www.rls.org or www.rlshelp.org . Reviewed by Richard P. Allen, Ph.D.and Merrill M. Mitler, Ph.D. , May 2005.
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