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Leg Vein Health

Updated 29 July 2011

Restless legs syndrome

Restless legs syndrome is characterised by uncomfortable sensations in the legs, which are worse during periods of inactivity or rest or while sitting or lying down.

Summary

  • Restless legs syndrome is characterised by uncomfortable sensations in the legs.
  • It gets worse during periods of inactivity or rest or while sitting or lying down.
  • There is often a positive family history of the disorder.
  • The sensations are described as: pulling, drawing, crawling, wormy, boring, tingling, pins and needles and prickly.
  • It is a life-long condition for which there is no cure.

Description

Symptoms may interfere with sleep onset (sleep onset insomnia). Research suggests that restless legs syndrome is related to periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD), another more common motor disorder, which causes interrupted sleep.

Prognosis

Treatment

  • Treatment is symptomatic.
  • Massage and application of cold compresses may provide temporary relief.
  • Certain medications are effective in relieving the symptoms.
  • Research suggests correction of iron deficiency may improve symptoms for some patients.

 

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