Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is a condition which affects approximately 10% of the current United States population. Anyone can be affected by it, young, old, men, and women have all suffered from it affects. The symptoms of restless leg syndrome can range from mild annoyance to extremely painful.
Restless leg syndrome occurs when a persons legs become extremely uncomfortable and is characterized by unpleasant sensations such as burning, creeping, and tugging, much like having insects crawling around just under the skin of the legs. These sensations create an uncontrollable urge to get up and walk around to try and get some relief. The interesting thing is getting up and walking around usually does help mitigate the symptoms to the point where the person suffering them can go back to bed and fall asleep. In more severe cases though, medical intervention and treatment may be needed.
Although research into the causes of restless leg syndrome is ongoing at this time there is no specific known cause. There is conjecture that a neurological disorder or chemical imbalance in the brain, notably the chemical dopamine, is responsible for the symptoms of RLS. Dopamine is responsible for the nerve impulses that control muscle movement.
There are several major symptoms that accompany restless leg syndrome the most notable of which is the time during which it tends to occur. Most of the symptoms are felt during the evening hours, particularly as one is lying in bed getting ready to go to sleep. It can also strike during extended periods of inactivity during which one is sitting or laying down.
Periodic limb movements (PLMS) are another symptom that can occur with restless leg syndrome. PLMS is involuntary twitching and kicking of the legs while asleep. Normally the PLMS sufferer is unaware that they are doing it, but anyone sharing the bed with is more then aware that this is occurring. In severe cases of restless leg syndrome these muscle twitches can occur when awake.
Because restless leg syndrome strikes as people are relaxing or trying to go to sleep, many find they have a hard time getting the rest they need. Insomnia is a big problem for people who suffer from restless leg syndrome. Even sneaking in a midday nap can get to be impossible of the recurring RLS.
If you or someone you know may be suffering from restless leg syndrome it is best to consult with a doctor. RLS has gotten more press in recent years making more people aware of this not so rare disorder.