Restless leg syndrome can be extremely difficult to live with. It can cause discomfort and sleep deprivation as it usually occurs while trying to relax or sleep. Restless leg syndrome can have a connection to some vascular issues, but if treated correctly, symptoms can improve. It’s important to discuss your symptoms with a doctor and determine the cause of your restless legs.
Interventional Cardiologist Dr. Ronnie G. Smalling at Smalling Vascular Institute specializes in vascular issues and can help diagnose the root cause which can get you back on track to a comfortable life.
Restless leg syndrome or RLS is a condition that causes uncomfortable sensations in your legs as well as an overwhelming urge to move your legs. It usually occurs when sitting or trying to sleep. Moving the legs temporarily eases the discomfort.
The most common symptom is an overwhelming urge to move your legs. This can also be accompanied by a tingling sensation or muscle tightening, with movement or stretching being the only immediate source of relief.
Signs of RLS include:
Usually, these symptoms affect both legs, but some people can experience them in only one leg. Symptoms can also appear in other parts of the body such as the arms, but this is less common. These symptoms can range from very mild to quite debilitating and can occur occasionally or every day.
Most of the time, the cause of RLS is unknown. There are some common issues that may be causing your restless legs:
It’s important to find out if there is a health issue causing RLS because if it’s left untreated, your health could be at risk.
Risk factors for RLS include:
If you are experiencing symptoms of RLS, it’s important to talk to a doctor to determine if there is a more serious cause that can be treated.
Venous insufficiency is a circulatory problem that occurs when the valves inside your veins malfunction. A small amount of the blood that flows through your veins and up to your heart can pool and cause a clot. This results in high blood pressure and the veins in your legs can swell and protrude from the skin, known as varicose veins.
Other symptoms of varicose veins include:
Though not all cases of RLS are caused by venous insufficiency, there is a connection between the two conditions. If your venous insufficiency is treated, your symptoms of RLS can improve.
Although there is no cure for RLS, there are ways to relieve symptoms. Treatment for RLS may vary from person to person depending on their symptoms.
Medication treatment options for RLS include:
Home remedies include:
Making sure your pillows and mattress are comfortable and you have a calming sleep environment can also help. Try keeping a consistent sleep routine each night. This can include stopping electronic use at least 30 minutes prior to sleep and doing meditation or something relaxing to prepare for sleep.
Home treatment of RLS caused by varicose veins includes:
Home remedies can greatly reduce symptoms, but you may need professional help treating your varicose veins. At Smalling Vascular Institute, there are several treatment options available:
You can be screened for varicose veins and other venous insufficiency issues at the Smalling Vascular Institute.