Does this sound familiar? You get all comfortable and prepared to get a good night’s sleep when all of a sudden there is an intense creeping, pulling, or tugging sensation in your legs. In an effort to find relief from these late-night unpleasant sensations, you toss, turn, and restlessly move your legs around. Unfortunately, you often find no relief. That is because you may be suffering from a specific nerve condition known as restless leg syndrome or RLS.

RLS is one of those elusive medical conditions that medical professionals don’t know how to cure, but they can provide treatment that may provide temporary relief from the unpleasant sensation in your legs. Before you can seek symptom relief, you must first know the cause of your restless leg syndrome. We will take a look at several common triggers, or causes, of RLS.

Trigger #1 – Taking Certain Medications

Many over-the-counter and prescription medications have been linked to the worsening of RLS symptoms. Healthcare professionals are unsure exactly why there is a connection between some medications and RLS, but some believe it could be related to how the medication affects your brain.

Specific medications that have been known to increase RLS symptoms include:

If you suspect your medication may be causing your RLS symptoms, don’t just stop taking it. Speak with your doctor before stopping any medication.

Trigger #2 – Stress or Anxiety

When exposed to extreme stress or anxiety, the brain is overthinking and overworking which results in your restless leg syndrome symptoms starting. Finding natural ways to reduce your stress or anxiety, such as meditating before bed, practicing yoga, or using deep breathing exercises, can help temporarily relieve RLS symptoms.

Trigger #3 – Caffeine

Drinking that cup of coffee or can of soda in the afternoon be triggering that creepy, pulling, tugging sensation in your legs at night.

Caffeine, found in soda, tea, coffee, and other products, is a stimulant. It awakens the body and often interferes with your sleep. When your body is awakened or stimulated, it can trigger the start of RLS symptoms.

Cutting out caffeine intake, especially if you consume it right before bed, could help you find considerable relief from restless leg syndrome. However, not everyone finds caffeine to be a trigger. In fact, some RLS sufferers often claim caffeine helps relieve their symptoms.

Trigger #4- Untreated Vein Problems

Varicose veins can often cause your legs to feel tired, achy, or painful throughout the day. At night, those varicose veins may be causing your RLS symptoms. Your body will encourage you to move your legs around in an effort to increase blood flow or find relief from the pain and sensations caused by varicose veins.

A procedure, known as sclerotherapy, cannot only treat your varicose veins, but it may help you find relief from any symptoms associated with RLS. In fact, a recent study from the National Sleep Foundation discovered that 98% of RLS sufferers found symptom relief after undergoing sclerotherapy.

Other Triggers of Restless Leg Syndrome

Other common triggers of RLS include:

Are you having trouble sleeping due to RLS? If so, call Vein911 in Tampa, Florida to schedule an appointment with a vein specialist. Our vein specialist will work with you to find a treatment option, or combination of treatment options, that provides you with relief from your restless leg syndrome.  

If you have varicose veins, you may be familiar with symptoms like aching and fatigue that tend to be more common with physical activity. And that might lead you to believe that being more physically active and engaging in activities like running and jogging is bad for your veins or causes varicose veins to become worse over time. But the fact is, in most cases, you’d be wrong. Running and other aerobic activity like walking and swimming can actually be good for your veins and may even prevent new varicose veins from forming, and that means adding these activities to your own physical routine could be just what the vein doctor ordered.

Varicose Veins and Running: What You Should Know

Varicose veins form when the tiny valves inside your veins stop functioning properly, allowing your blood to “slow down” and collect behind the valves. Over time, this increased pressure behind the valves causes the vessel walls to weaken and bulge, and it also causes the valves to fail. Being physically inactive is a main contributing factor to varicose veins and other circulatory disorders and diseases because when you’re still, your blood flow automatically slows down, increasing the risk of pressure buildup inside your veins. Running and other aerobic activity keeps your blood moving more quickly, and that means it can help prevent blood from collecting behind those tiny valves, decreasing your risk of valve malfunction and vein disorders. Plus, being more physically active helps you maintain a healthier weight, which can also decrease pressure on the veins in your legs and feet.

Running With Varicose Veins

If you have varicose veins already, you may be familiar with the discomfort they can cause, including aching, stinging and burning sensations, and you also may have experienced fatigue and tiredness in your legs, especially when running. But just because you experience those symptoms — as unpleasant as they may be — that doesn’t mean you need to give up running. Many athletes who suffer from varicose veins are able to continue with their running routine without those painful symptoms. At Vein911, we offer athlete vein treatment tailored to the special needs of athletes of all levels to help them enjoy their activities without pain and other symptoms. The key is to seek treatment for your symptoms early.

Our vein treatment program starts with an evaluation of your symptoms as well as your blood vessels to look for signs of circulation problems. Since varicose veins can develop deep below the skin surface, they can be difficult to see, especially if you have well-developed muscles. At our practice, we use advanced technology to look for varicose veins and other circulation problems so your treatment can be tailored specifically for your needs.

The Bottom Line

While running and other aerobic activity can help prevent varicose veins, it’s still important to have your veins evaluated to ensure your circulatory system stays in top shape, especially as you get older. In addition to providing you with state-of-the-art treatment options for varicose veins and other circulation issues, Vein911 also offers lifestyle guidance to help athletes of all levels stay active and healthy so they can keep participating in the sports and activities they love. To learn more about athlete vein treatment or to schedule a vein evaluation, call Vein911 at 855-396-9111 today.

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, up to 10 percent of people in the US are suffering from restless leg syndrome. The symptoms of restless leg syndrome (RLS) are difficult to ignore. Just as you’re about to drift off to sleep, you feel an intense urge to move your legs. Some people describe feeling creeping sensations, throbbing or aching in their legs. Often, getting up and moving eases the discomfort. If you are experiencing the symptoms of RLS, the good news is there are several ways to treat and cope with the condition.

How to Treat Restless Leg Syndrome

Medication

A few medications have been shown to help ease the symptoms associated with RLS. Some are FDA-approved for treating the syndrome, others are prescribed “off label” still provide some benefit. Two medications that have FDA approval for treating RLS are  rotigotine and pramipexole. Both medicines work by increasing dopamine levels in a person’s brain, which helps to reduce movements and motion in the legs. Anticonvulsants, such as gabapentin and pregabalin, can be prescribed to reduce movements. Additionally, some patients are able to get relief or at least a better night’s sleep when they are prescribed opioids or muscle relaxants. 

Changing or Improving Your Sleep Habits

Medications don’t help everyone with RLS. Additionally, some people might be hesitant to take potentially habit-forming drugs. For some people, changing a sleep routine or working to improve sleep hygiene can help ease symptoms. That can mean going to bed and getting up at the same time every night and day. It can also mean making sure the bedroom or sleeping area is comfortable, quite, dark and cool.

Sclerotherapy

Many patients with RLS also have some sort of vein problem, such as varicose veins. According to the National Sleep Foundation, 98 percent of patients who participated in a study experienced relief of their  RLS symptoms after they received sclerotherapy to treat their varicose veins. Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive treatment that involves injecting the veins with a special solution. The solution causes the veins to collapse and disappear. Often, varicose veins are associated with RLS. Treating them can help treat the RLS.

Treating Other Underlying Conditions

Occasionally, other conditions or certain medications can make RLS worse. For example, people with low iron levels often experience the syndrome. If your doctor finds that your iron levels are low, he may recommend taking a supplement or finding ways to increase the iron in your diet.

The Relaxis Pad

The Relaxis pad is a medical device approved by the FDA for helping people with RLS. The pad is made out of foam and available in a range of sizes. When used, it vibrates for 30 minutes to help ease the sensations associated with RLS.

If you have varicose veins and RLS, Dr. Chris Pittman at Vein 911 can help. He offers ultrasound guided sclerotherapy to treat varicose veins and potentially ease RLS symptoms. Contact Vein 911 today to schedule a consultation.

 

Restless Leg Syndrome, or RLS, is a type of neurological disorder that can be characterized by different sensations in your legs that are unpleasant and uncontrollable. Although not typically painful, it can be overwhelming at times where you have an almost unavoidable urge to move your legs to relieve the feeling. RLS typically occurs in the night when you are trying to get to sleep, but it can happen when you lie down to relax or during a nap.

Symptoms of Restless Legs Syndrome

Symptoms can vary between people and hard for them to describe. However, common descriptions of symptoms include:

Some people have said that RLS feels like they have insects crawling on their legs or a “deep bone itch.” Most say it’s not painful but overwhelmingly disturbing and uncomfortable.

Causes of Restless Leg Syndrome

Often, RLS can appear for no real reason. Some researchers have suspected it is caused by an imbalance in the dopamine chemical of your brain responsible for sending a message to control the movement of your muscles.

Heredity

In some cases, RLS has been known to run in families and researchers have been able to identify genes for RLS in people.

Chronic Diseases

Certain medical conditions and chronic diseases like Parkinson’s disease, peripheral neuropathy, diabetes and kidney failure can trigger RLS symptoms. Relief is experienced typically when these conditions are treated.

Medications

Different types of medicines have been known to worsen the symptoms of RLS including antidepressants, anti-nausea drugs, allergy and cold medications that contain antihistamines and antipsychotic drugs.

Pregnancy

Hormonal changes and pregnancy in women can worsen RLS temporarily. Some women end up getting RLS when pregnant when they never had it before, particularly in their last trimester. After delivery, however, the symptoms tend to go away.

Restless legs syndrome affects both sexes although seems to be more common in women. It affects all ages, even younger children as well as middle-aged or older adults. It often goes undiagnosed or sometimes misdiagnosed, particularly if there are only mild symptoms. However, once it is properly diagnosed, there is successful treatment for RLS.

If your restless legs are keeping you up at night, be sure to call Dr. Chris Pittman and our Tampa vein specialists at 855-396-8841. Here at Vein 911, we will work with you to find RLS treatment options for your restless legs, which may include ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy that many patients have benefitted from.

About 10 percent of adults suffer from restless leg syndrome, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Also known as Willis-Ekbom disease, a key symptom of restless leg syndrome (RLS) is the need to move your legs. The urge or need to move the legs usually occurs right when a person is trying to fall asleep. Other symptoms of RLS include twitching legs, itching, and throbbing. Although there’s no official way to cure the condition, there are a variety of treatments available to help ease and reduce symptoms.

Treating Restless Leg Syndrome  holding-legs-restless-legs

Correct a Nutritional Deficiency

In some cases, a deficiency in certain nutrients, such as magnesium, iron or zinc can contribute to the symptoms of RLS. An iron deficiency, for example, can make symptoms worse, even if you don’t have anemia. If you and your doctor find that you do have a nutritional deficiency, the first option for treating RLS might be to take a supplement to boost your levels of the mineral or vitamin you are lacking.

Improve Sleep Quality

Improving your sleep hygiene can help treat RLS or at least reduce its symptoms. One way to do that is to establish a regular time to go to bed and a regular time to wake up. Avoiding stimulants, such as caffeine as well as depressants such as alcohol, can also help improve your sleep quality and minimize symptoms of RLS.

You might also find that trying relaxation techniques, such as meditation or yoga, before you go to bed, can help you fall asleep quicker and avoid the urge to move or the restless feeling associated with RLS.

Treat an Underlying Vein Problem

As the Sleep Foundation notes, 98 percent of patients with RLS saw their symptoms improve after they had sclerotherapy to treat varicose veins on their legs. That’s because there’s a connection between vein disease, such as varicose veins, and RLS.  Often, the physical symptoms people with varicose veins experience are similar to the symptoms those with RLS experience, including itching, burning and cramping in the legs.

Medications for Restless Leg Syndrome

A few medications might help to reduce the symptoms of RLS. These medications might include opioids, drugs that increase dopamine levels, and sleeping pills. While medicine can help some patients manage their symptoms, it can also increase symptoms in others, which is known as augmentation. Some people find that the side effects of medications are too much compared to the relief they can provide. If you decide to try medication for RLS, you might need to try several varieties before finding the option that works for you.

You can get a good night sleep’s once again. To learn more about RLS, vein disease, and your treatment options, schedule a free consultation with a vein specialist at Vein911 today.