Does Restless Leg Syndrome Hurt?

Restless leg syndrome, also known as RLS, does not normally cause outright pain. With that said, you may experience some aches and leg cramps as a result of the condition as well as the generally unpleasant sensations that are core to RLS. So, does restless leg syndrome hurt?

What Is Restless Leg Syndrome?

Restless leg syndrome is a condition that causes an irresistible urge to move your legs. The condition is generally most noticeable when you are at rest. In many cases, RLS will cause your legs to jerk involuntarily, especially when lying down and trying to sleep.

Does Restless Leg Syndrome Hurt?

As a result of these symptoms, many people with RLS struggle with chronic insomnia. To date there is no cure for RLS, but there are treatments that can lessen and even eliminate the symptoms. If Restless leg syndrome is making it difficult for you to sleep, then make an appointment with your sleep doctor in NYC.

What Does Restless Leg Syndrome Feel Like?

The exact sensations associated with Restless leg syndrome vary depending on the severity of your case.

In minor cases, you may notice an odd feeling in your legs where you simply have to move them but you don’t know why. You may notice small jerking motions on occasion before you have even started to drift off to sleep.

More intense cases of RLS may cause an itching, tingling, or burning sensation in your legs. These feelings will likely make you move your legs quite a lot. It may create enough tension to cause cramping, which is an undoubtedly painful experience.

What Causes Restless Leg Syndrome?

Restless leg syndrome is imperfectly understood. When RLS occurs without clear risk factors, it appears to be related to lower iron levels or imbalanced dopamine levels in the brain. However, poor blood circulation, pregnancy, advanced age, and specific lifestyle choices have also been linked to RLS.

Currently, treatments for RLS aim to tackle the underlying issue in the hope of reducing your symptoms. As a result, you may need to try several treatment options before you find one that works. Smoking, caffeine, and a sedentary lifestyle can aggravate existing RLS, so avoiding these and doing a bit of daily exercise may help to bolster the efficacy of your treatment.

Who Is At Risk for Restless Leg Syndrome?

Restless leg syndrome can technically affect anyone. Research does show that the condition might have a genetic component, as it does appear to show up in families.

Aside from the potential genetic risk factors, additional risk factors for RLS include:

  • Pregnancy
  • Aging
  • Obesity
  • Varicose veins
  • Polyneuropathy
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney failure

How Are Medications Used to Treat Restless Leg Syndrome?

Restless leg syndrome treatment can be complex because scientists lack a complete understanding of the condition. As a result, your sleep doctor may try several medications in turn to help identify a treatment that works.

The medications used for RLS typically do one of three things:

  • Address imbalanced hormone levels
  • Reduce tension or pain in the muscles
  • Bring on a drowsy state

Some of the available options can be habit forming, so your doctor will start with medications that have the lowest associated risks first.

Be patient. You may have to try a few medications before you find one that actually helps. In the meantime, make sure to follow your doctor’s instructions to the letter to give the treatment the best shot at success.

Additional Treatments for Restless Leg Syndrome

In addition to medication, your doctor will likely ask you to make a few lifestyle changes. These may include abstaining from things like smoking, alcohol, and caffeine. They may also ask you to work more physical activity into your week.

With a little patience, your NYC sleep doctor will be able to find a combination of habits and medications that will give you enough relief to let you sleep.

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