Symptoms include an urge to move the legs often associated with uncomfortable feeling in the legs (e.g. tingling, creepy, itching, pulling or aching) during periods of inactivity, including both sleep and wakefulness. Symptoms may also include involuntary jerking of the limbs that intensifies in the evening or at night and is relieved by movement. People with RLS tend to have difficulty falling or staying asleep and suffer from chronic sleep loss, leaving them with the cognitive and tired feelings that occur with sleep loss. Reviewed by Richard P. Allen, Ph.D.and Merrill M. Mitler, Ph.D. , May 2005.
RLS sufferer Cari Lendrum recommends: Try Cari’s “RLS Squats!” – To do this exercise, start off in a standing position and then bend your knees slightly so that you are in a squat. Rest your forearms on your thighs close to your knees, grasping your opposite wrist for stability if necessary. Maintaining that position, raise and lower your buttocks over and over until you get tired. Repeat the exercise as long as you can without feeling muscle strain or discomfort in the back or knees. Hopefully, this will alleviate your symptoms even if just for a short time. Do you have a strategy for coping with RLS? Share your story and/or advice by contacting Colleen Cancio at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Restless legs syndrome or Ekbom Syndrome affects hundreds of people night after night, keeping them and their partners awake. It can even lead to sleep deprivation.
What are the symptoms of restless legs syndrome? The itching, burning sensation on the limbs and the endless need to move them as the sufferer tries to find a comfortable position in which to lie. Often it's necessary to get up and pace the floor, take a hot/cold bath, anything to get rid of the misery in the legs.
What causes restless legs? The cause is unknown, although recent research suggests that a single unknown gene causes many of the cases. It is known that RLS is hereditary, with some families having several members suffering from the disorder. RLS is associated with iron deficiency, disorders of the peripheral nerve (e.g. neuropathy) and various other movement disorders (such as Parkinson’s disease). However, the cause of RLS for most patients remains unknow...
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