Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is an uncontrollable urge to twitch or jerk legs, following a sensation of something squirming or wiggling under the skin. Restless leg syndromes have known to cause sleep deprivation, anxiety and depression in many people. The cause of the syndrome is yet to be specified, though, it has been related to lack of exercise, circulatory problems, arthritis, excessive consumption of caffeine or other health conditions like kidney, lung and heart disorder.
Signs to watch out for restless leg syndrome
Restless leg syndrome symptoms vary from person to person; furthermore the individual finds it difficult to explain the sensation. Some of the common sensations described are:
- Something creeping on leg
- Prickly feeling
- Burning sensation
- Tugging of nerves
- Deep bone itch
- Effervescent feeling in veins
No one is sure what the sensation exactly is, thus they can only make vague references. Sometimes these sensations are mild, while other times, they’re painful. The sensations start during relaxation, one of the reasons why they are triggered when a person is asleep.
Home remedy and self help treatment for restless leg syndrome
Medical intervention is not required for restless leg syndrome, unless it persists even after self help remedies tried at home. Making simple lifestyle changes can play an important role in alleviating symptoms of RLS. The following tips may help reduce the restless leg syndrome:
- Walk around. It not only calm the legs enough to keep them still for the night, in addition it also enhances blood circulation into legs
- Restrict caffeine and nicotine consumption, especially during night
- Check out the side effects of the medications before consumption
- When necessary, painkillers can be taken for relief
- Warm bath or soaking legs in warm water to which a teaspoon of salt is added will go a long way in reducing symptoms
- Mild massages of muscles in legs for relaxation
- Alternate use of hot and cold packs makes the limb less susceptible to sensitivity
- Create a comfortable sleeping environment
- Create a rhythm in sleeping time
- Relax with mild meditation or yoga before going to bed
- Avoid alcohol and tobacco
- Check for iron, vitamin B, folic acid or magnesium deficiencies and take supplements when required
- Lose weight, as overweight triggers restless leg syndrome
- Drink plenty of water during day
- Cut down on sugar and high fructose liquids
- Avoid walking on hard floors
- Wear appropriate footwear
Along with the above mentioned lifestyle changes, there are weird methods like putting a bar of soap under the sheets, which people with RLS swear to have worked for them. Also some people try an Indian yoga technique called progressive relaxation.
Instead of trying general relaxation, the plan here is to relax one muscle at a time. It starts with deep breaths for a few minutes; then the relaxation of muscles starts from feet moving upwards towards the head.
Every muscle is tensed for a few seconds before allowing it to relax. When done, the technique promises not only to heal the RLS, but relax the person both physically and mentally to a great extent.
Liquorice or licorice roots are known to work on the muscles to reduce pain, as they are excellent muscle relaxants, in addition it supplements the magnesium needs of the person which helps to relieve restless leg syndrome.
If the above mentioned self help remedies do not help in relieving the condition of RLS, then it is time to consider seeking medical advice.