When you were a kid, how many times did you hear, “stop twitching,” “be still,” “stop moving your legs?” It’s too bad that we couldn’t say, “Mom, remember, I have Restless Legs Syndrome.” Well, to Restless Legs Syndrome patients, it’s no funny childhood memory.
Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a condition in which your legs feel so uncomfortable that it impels you to move around to gain relief from this feeling. This feeling in the thighs, calves, feet, and arms has often been described as “crawling, tingling, jittery, burning or aching,” and can be experience while you're sitting, lying down, asleep or awake.
What are the signs and symptoms of RLS?
Nighttime Leg Movement.
Persons with RLS involuntarily extend and move their legs while sleeping. Usually, the patient is unaware of the movements until his/her bed partner makes them aware of it. This movement can disrupt sleep, which explains why it has a profound effect on fibromyalgia patients.
Inactivity Causes the Sensations
When traveling or sitting for an extended period of time, the symptoms may occur.
Movement Brings Relief
When the symptoms occur, RLS patients have a compelling desire to move to relieve the unpleasant feeling. Patients have expressed that the sensations lessen when they walk, exercise, pace the floor, stretching, and other movements.
Symptoms Worsen at Night
During the day, symptoms are less bothersome, but at night symptoms become worse. It is also considered a sleep disorder.
RLS is not a serious condition, but it is an annoying one that can seriously incapacitate a person. It’s good to know that it doesn’t lead to other serious medical conditions. In some cases, the cause is unknown, but in fibromyalgia patients, the likely cause is the lack of dopamine in the brain. Researchers have suspected that RLS is caused by an imbalance of dopamine, so this explains why RLS is an associated condition in some fibromyalgia patients.
Additional causes include heredity, stress, hormonal changes or pregnancy. According to the Mayo clinic, some associated conditions of RLS include peripheral neuropathy, iron deficiency and kidney failure. Sometimes treating these conditions may relieve your RLS symptoms.
Medications use to treat Parkinson’s disease can change the level of dopamine in the brain, reducing movement. These medications are Mirapex, Permax, Requip, and Sinemet. Narcotic medications may be used, but are addicting in high doses. Muscle relaxers and sleep aids can improve sleep, but does not relieve leg movement. Medications that may worsen symptoms include calcium channel blockers, antidepressants, and anti nausea drugs.
1. Take over-the-counter pain relievers which may relieve the symptoms.
2. Relax your muscles in a warm bath. Add therapeutic bath salts and essential oils to the water.
(See the article: http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art46407.asp)
3. Relaxation techniques. http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art46997.asp
4. Proper Rest
6. Avoid Stimulants like Caffeine and Tobacco
So, now,if your spouse or significant other says to you, “stop twitching,” “be still,” “stop moving your legs,” after you swallow your Mirapex, you can respond, “Honey, remember, I have Restless Legs Syndrome.”