Signs & Symptoms Of Restless Leg Syndrome
Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) has symptoms that really can drive those who suffer from this condition to distraction. As you’ll see, this condition is an unusual one to say the least.
Symptoms of RLS
Before listing some of the most common RLS symptoms, it is important to understand that signs and many symptoms of this condition are different from person to person. It is also not the easiest ailment to describe.
As the name of this condition would suggest, in the main it affects a persons legs, although those with the severest form of RLS can also see it affect their arms.
The leg sensations felt have variously been described as a creeping, tingling, prickling or burning sensation. While others feel as it they have bugs crawling up their legs, or a bubbling through their veins. Many others describe it as a ‘deep bone itch’.
And even though we’ve been aware of this condition for many years now, what causes Restless Leg Syndrome is still not fully understood.
Very noticeable discomfort in your legs and a strong urge to move them
The uncomfortable sensations which appear to be coming from deep within the sufferer’s leg are often accompanied by an extremely strong and often unstoppable urge to move them. This is where descriptions such as tingling, itching and a “creepy crawly” feeling come into play.
Rest actually triggers symptoms
This symptom is quite the opposite of most leg pain. People who carry out lots of leg exercises, walk for long distances, or are on their feet for many hours quite expectedly feel some aches. But this is commonly relieved by simply ‘putting their feet up’ i.e. they rest their legs.
With RLS your pain actually starts, or becomes worse when you are relaxing, sitting down or trying to relax.
Restless Leg Syndrome and nightfall
It is very typical for RLS to flare up during the night, particularly when a sufferer is lying down. If you are badly affected by RLS various symptoms may begin earlier in the day and become progressively worse.
By the time it is bedtime the discomfort or pain is at its most intense. So as you can imagine, sleep quality is often severely affected by sufferers – which itself leads to all sorts of resulting problems.
Night-time leg twitching
To add to your night-time woes many sufferers also have what is termed periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD). This is a sleep disorder which causes repeated cramping or involuntary jerking of the legs during sleep. PLMD further disrupts what little sleep you are trying to get.
The final symptom is once again something you would describe as opposite to a ‘normal’ reaction;
The symptoms of RLS improve when you walk or move your legs
If you move, massage your legs or stretch them, the uncomfortable sensations you are having temporarily subside and this relief will continue as long as you keep moving.
Are these symptoms constant?
This also ranges from person to person. Symptoms range from being mildly annoying to severely disabling. They may only affect you once in a while, or could visit you every evening. In really severe cases the symptoms of Restless Leg Syndrome can also affect the arms as well as your legs.