Restless Legs Syndrome – What Is It?
Restless legs syndrome (RLS) or Willis-Ekbom Disease is a condition that results in uncomfortable sensations in the legs leading to an irresistible desire to keep moving them. It can affect people of any age but in most cases, it starts at middle age and increases in severity with time.
What Are The Symptoms Of Restless Legs Syndrome?
The symptoms usually start around afternoon/evening and worsen at night as a person is sitting, lying, and resting. Other RLS-triggering situations include the long periods of inactivity, such as watching a movie or going on a trip by plane or bus. Since the symptoms are the most severe during the night, falling asleep becomes difficult. Therefore, it often results in daytime sleepiness and might cause exhaustion thus strongly affecting concentration, mood, focus, relationships, and school or work performance.
Other associated problems include impaired memory and a difficulty in accomplishing daily tasks. Apart from making traveling difficult, RLS can considerably affect productivity and also result in the onset of anxiety and depression.
How RLS Disrupts Your Daily Life
People suffering from RLS are always restless since movement relives RLS symptoms to some extent. An RLS sufferer would usually seek comfort by pacing the floor or constantly tossing and turning in their beds. However, the frequency and severity of RLS varies from day to day and with person to person.
What to Do About RLS?
Now that you know how to identify a person suffering from RLS, the next step is to find out what can be done for relief from this endless form of discomfort. When hit by the restless legs syndrome, walking or moving the legs, in general, can somewhat relieve the discomfort. However, the sensation returns the moment the movement stops. As the symptoms are triggered by inactivity or when trying to sleep, RLS has been classified as a sleeping disorder. Some specialists also consider it a movement disorder as moving can relive the symptoms. However, it can be best classified as a neurological sensory disorder since the symptoms arise from within the brain.
Since it is mainly a neurological condition, doctors prefer to solve it with various kind of drug-free therapies. While in most cases, these therapies work well, medications for restless legs syndrome are also available.
If you or your loved ones are suffering from this condition, sighting immediate help of a professional is recommended to avoid the worsening of the condition. Stay safe and healthy!