Restless Leg Syndrome
Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) is a disorder of the peripheral nervous system that causes an urge to move the legs. It has been established that conditions causing inadequate blood flow in the legs such as Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) or Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI) are often accompanied by RLS and treatment of these conditions can lessen or eliminate the instances of Restless Leg Syndrome.
RLS can be classified as primary or secondary diagnosis. Primary RLS has no known cause, whereas secondary RLS is related to another medical ailment. Chronic venous disorders are a major contributor to secondary RLS. In a 2007 study, researchers found that 36% of patients suffering from chronic venous disease also had RLS. In another study, participants with RLS who received medical treatment for chronic venous disease reported a 36% increase in quality of sleep and a 67% decrease in severity of symptoms.
People with Restless Leg Syndrome have uncomfortable sensations in their legs (and sometimes arms or other parts of the body) and an irresistible urge to move their legs to relieve the sensations. The condition causes an uncomfortable, “itchy,” “pins and needles,” or “creepy crawly” feeling in the legs. The sensations are usually worse at rest, especially when lying or sitting.
The severity of RLS symptoms range from mild to intolerable. Symptoms can come and go and severity can also vary. The symptoms are generally worse in the evening and at night. For some people, symptoms may cause severe nightly sleep disruption that can significantly impair their quality of life.
If you are suffering from RLS, it is important to choose a doctor with the right medical background and access to the latest technology for evaluation, especially since chronic venous disorders are often associated with RLS.
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