Modern life means busy schedules for everyone, from young students to hardworking professionals. Many people struggle to get eight hours a day when the demands of family and work eat up their free time. Conditions like Restless Leg Syndrome can make it even harder to rest at the end of the day. If you can’t seem to find a comfortable position at night or find yourself waking up regularly, come in for a visit to see if you may have this unusual but common condition.

What is Restless Legs Syndrome?

This syndrome primarily affects the legs when a patient is resting. They may be seated and trying to relax with a movie, or lying in bed and waiting for sleep. The condition is considered a neurological disorder because it involves uncomfortable sensations in the nerves of the leg, also known as dysesthesias. The sensations can make it impossible to sit in a car for more than a few minutes or fall asleep. Most patients have to continually move their legs to relieve the nerve sensations that drive them crazy, preventing proper rest and providing the name of Restless Legs Syndrome. Resolving RLS symptoms can help you restore your daily routine or enjoy a lazy day in the hammock again.

Restless Leg Syndrome Symptoms

Despite the name, RLS doesn’t always affect the legs alone. The same sensations can occur in the arms, hands, and legs. Look for symptoms like:

  • Discomfort in the limbs in the form of tingling, burning, cramping, or itchy
  • Insect-like crawling sensations
  • The feeling of tension or the need to move
  • Constant waking in the night due to leg sensations or the need to get up
  • Inability to sit, stand still, or lie down for more than half and hour at a time
  • Relief in leg sensations when swinging the limbs, flexing the muscles, or pacing around the room

Cause of Restless Leg Syndrome

Unfortunately, many cases of RLS are diagnosed as idiopathic. This means that there is no specific or known cause for the symptoms. However, other cases may be caused by:

  • Pregnancy complications
  • Anemia and iron deficiency
  • Kidney disease, damage, or failure
  • Peripheral neuropathy, which is a disorder that involves nerve inflammation in any quadrant of the body
  • Heredity
  • Chronic diseases like Parkinson’s Disease and diabetes
  • Medications that affect the nerves, such as antidepressants and allergy treatments
  • Alcohol sensitivity and heavy drinking

Restless Legs Syndrome Risks

Certain risk factors have been identified for this debilitating disorder. Some simply can’t be changed, but others are lifestyle choices that you can avoid to lower your risk for developing RLS. Risk factors include:

  • Gender – women have a slightly higher risk for RLS than men
  • Age – it can develop in childhood, but rises in prevalence among middle aged adults
  • Medications – taking antidepressants or antihistamines can trigger the development of this syndrome
  • Sleep deprivation – the less you sleep from RLS symptoms, the more severe they can become

Restless Legs Syndrome Treatment Options

Unless a specific nerve compression issue is diagnosed, most treatment plans aim to control the symptoms. Occasional treatments may yield surprising relief. We offer treatments in our New Haven office that include:

  • Massage to relieve muscle tension from stress and fatigue
  • Chiropractic adjustment if misalignment is suspected to be the cause
  • Electrostimulation for overactive nerves
  • Stretches and exercise techniques to keep the muscles from twitching and cramping all night
  • Nutritional supplements

Find True Relaxation Again

One visit to our office can help you determine why you are experiencing numbness & tingling every night. Life will become far more enjoyable once you feel comfortable sitting still for a few hours to dine with friends or take in a film. If you aren’t sure if your symptoms are linked to Restless Leg Syndrome or another nerve issue, come in for a full consultation.