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
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.