What is Restless Leg Syndrome?

What is Restless Leg Syndrome?

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a neurological condition that is characterized by the irresistible urge to move the legs. In order for you to be officially diagnosed with RLS, you must meet the criteria described in the four bullets below:

  • You have a strong urge to move your legs which you may not be able to resist. This need is often accompanied by uncomfortable sensations. Some words used to describe these sensations include:creeping, itching, pulling, creepy-crawly, tugging, or gnawing.
  • Your RLS symptoms start or become worse when you are resting. The longer you are resting, the greater the chance the symptoms will occur and the more severe they are likely to be.
  • Relief of symptoms improve when you move your legs. This can help relieve your symptoms a little or all together. As long as you are moving, you feel better.
    Your RLS symptoms are worse in the evening especially when you are lying down. Activities that bother you at night do not bother you during the day.

RLS can also cause difficulty in falling or staying asleep- one of the chief complaints of the syndrome. Some people who have RLS also have periodic limb movements of sleep (PLMS). These are jerks that occur every 20 to 30 seconds on and off throughout the night. These movements can often cause awakenings that disrupt sleep. This lack of sleep most likely leads to poor quality of health, concentration and personal relationships.


Additional information provided by National Sleep Foundation:

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