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What Is Restless Leg Syndrome?

Trying to fall asleep but you keep getting a tingling sensation in your legs that makes you want to get up and walk around? That tingling, creeping sensation you get is caused by Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS). Patients usually feel the sensation around the thighs and down to their ankles on one or both of their legs. Studies have shown that the symptoms of RLS are set to a daily cycle where the symptoms are more severe in the afternoon and later in the day than they are earlier in the morning. Restless leg syndrome gives patients a tingling, unpleasant sensation that can only be relieved when the patient walks, stretches, massages, or a bathes. The symptoms only allow the patient to get a few hours of sleep every night thus leaving them sleepy and tired throughout the day.

Although there is no definite cause for Restless Leg Syndrome it has been known to be hereditary and gets passed down from parent to child. RLS can occur in people of all ages but has been shown to be very common in older patients and in some cases even more severe. Diagnosing Restless Leg Syndrome can be very difficult because there are no abnormalities that the doctor will be able to examine physically so any diagnosis will need to be made on the description of the symptoms that the patient gives the doctor. The doctor will also ask you about your family history and if anyone in your family ever had RLS. We might even recommend having a physical and neurological exam just in case you might be suffering from nerve damage.

So how will we go about treating your Restless Leg Syndrome? In order to treat some of the mild symptoms we recommend taking a hot bath or massaging your legs to relieve the sensations. Some patients have found that exercising more and staying away from caffeine or using heating pads or ice packs can help get rid of the symptoms. While there is no perfect treatment for restless leg syndrome, the doctors at Sleep Services of Maryland will do whatever we can to relieve the symptoms and bring back comfortable sleep into your life.

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