Restless Legs Syndrome

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Restless Legs Syndrome
Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a disorder that causes a strong urge to move your legs. This urge to move often occurs with strange and unpleasant feelings, such as as creeping, crawling, pulling, itching, tingling, burning, aching, or electric shocks, in your legs. Moving your legs relieves the urge and the unpleasant feelings.
One type of RLS usually starts early in life (before age 45) and tends to run in families. It may even start in childhood. Once this type of RLS starts, it usually lasts for the rest of your life. Over time, symptoms slowly get worse and occur more often. If you have a mild case, you may have long periods with no symptoms.
Another type of RLS usually starts later in life (after age 45). It generally doesn’t run in families. This type tends to have a more abrupt onset. The symptoms usually don’t get worse with age.
Most people who have RLS also have a condition called periodic limb movement in sleep (PLMS). PLMS causes your legs or arms to twitch or jerk about every 10 to 60 seconds during sleep. These movements cause you to wake up often and get less sleep.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. www.nhlbi.nih.gov
Key signs of
restless legs syndrome RLS
A strong urge to move your legs. This urge often, but not always, occurs with unpleasant feelings in your legs. When the disorder is severe, you also may have the urge to move your arms.
Symptoms that start or get worse when you’re inactive. The urge to move increases when you’re sitting still or lying down and resting.
Relief from moving. Movement, especially walking, helps relieve the unpleasant feelings.
Symptoms that start or get worse in the evening or at night.