When you’re lying in bed, do you have an intense need to move your legs? If you have trouble with or are unable to lie still due to burning, itching and tingling sensations in your legs, then you may suffer from a condition known as restless legs syndrome or RLS. RLS is extremely frustrating and may cause significant sleep problems.
This syndrome affects approximately 15 percent of Americans and may be a symptom of a different medical problem, like vein disease. The symptoms of RLS and vein disease are closely linked.
Common symptoms of RLS
Symptoms of RLS may include:
- Itching, tingling or ‘crawling’ sensations deep inside the legs
- An intense urge to move the legs to relieve irritating sensations
- Restlessness (e.g., floor pacing, tossing and turning)
- Sleep disruptions, causing daytime drowsiness
- Involuntary and repetitive leg movement at night occurring while asleep or awake
Treatments for RLS
Ways to treat or minimize symptoms of RLS include:
- Alternate warm and cold packs to ease leg aches and pain
- Massage lower legs just before bed to relax the muscles
- Exercise regularly to encourage good circulation
- Stretch before bedtime to release excess tension in the legs
- Take iron, folic acid, magnesium or vitamin B supplements (check with your doctor first)
- Try over-the-counter pain relievers and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories
- Ask your doctor about prescription pain relievers, muscle relaxants or sleep aids
- Avoid potential triggers like caffeine, tobacco, alcohol
Dietary changes to relieve RLS
If you’re interested in improving the symptoms of RLS, try adding these foods to your daily diet:
- Fresh fruits and vegetables, particularly dark, leafy greens
- Iron-rich meats
- Tree nuts, seeds and legumes
Before experimenting with over the counter medications to alleviate symptoms of RLS, it’s essential to have your legs evaluated for vein disease first. Why? You could have a vein disorder that’s causing restless legs syndrome as a secondary condition.
Contact Surgical Specialists of Carolina to learn more about restless legs syndrome treatment in Asheville. We can help relieve your heavy, achy, swollen or itchy restless legs. Call us today at 828-585-2575 if you want to feel comfortable again and improve your quality of sleep.