Restless legs syndrome: Why do you feel the urge to move at night?

2 de September de 2020

At night it is normal to feel some kind of discomfort in our feet due to fatigue from a long day of work, but when these sensations are very acute and frequent it could be due to the so-called restless legs syndrome.

The need to move your legs when you are at rest and tingling are just one of the symptoms of RLS, which as you will see below can be treated at home, but if the problem worsens, it will be necessary to consult a professional.

What is restless legs syndrome?

Restless Legs Syndrome, also known as Willis-Ekbom disease, is a neurological disorder in which the person experiences uncomfortable sensations in the legs when at rest.

These sensations lead the person to an urge to move, either by walking or by shaking his or her limbs. Symptoms may be mild or severe and occur in both men and women.

To date, the cause of restless legs syndrome is not known. restless legs syndrome but it is suspected to be due to an imbalance in the production of dopamine, which is a substance produced by the body to control muscle movements.

Some medications, iron deficiency, pregnancy and certain pathologies such as diabetes and Parkinson’s disease predispose to the manifestation of the disorder.

Symptoms of restless legs syndrome

Although it is difficult for patients to describe what they experience during an episode of restless legs syndrome. In the vast majority of cases it is felt:

  • Tingling
  • Electric current sensation
  • Pain
  • Prickling sensation
  • Itching
  • Pulls
  • Need to move legs

The sensation is different from a cramp or numbness of the muscles and may disappear and appear after a short period and both legs are affected.

restless legs tingling sensation

How to alleviate the need to move the legs?

The restless legs syndrome is a chronic and progressive disorder, meaning that it manifests itself over time and tends to worsen. Episodes are usually sporadic but eventually become frequent.

The discomfort of RLS manifests itself at night and when the body is at rest, so it can significantly affect a person’s rest and quality of life.

The patient may develop certain problems in falling asleep and maintaining sleep due to discomfort, but may also experience anxiety, nervousness and depression.

Small actions and lifestyle changes will help decrease RLS symptoms, for example:

  • Take a shower with warm water to relax the muscles.
  • Massage the feet and legs.
  • Have a good night’s sleep. The syndrome worsens when the person does not get enough rest.
  • Exercise but avoid strenuous activity in the evenings.
  • Avoid products that affect the nervous system, such as caffeine, alcohol and tobacco.

It is important to self-care and make significant lifestyle changes to alleviate symptoms and prevent worsening. Medications prescribed by a professional can help a lot in the most severe cases.

 

trustworthy medical information stamp clinica san romanArticle prepared by Clínica San Román

2-09-2020

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