Healthy Living

Alternative Treatments for Restless Legs Syndrome

Restless Legs Syndrome

Alternative Treatments for Restless Legs Syndrome

According to statistics, restless legs syndrome (RLS) affects about 15% of Americans. It is also important to note that restless legs syndrome can be a side effect of certain medications. It will clear off when you stop taking such medication. A variety of alternative treatments is existent. However, if they do not work, seek immediate medical attention.

Proven Holistic Treatments to Treat RLS

1. Heat/cold therapy and massage 

Applying warm packs as well as cool packs to your muscles can help alleviate the symptoms of restless legs syndrome. Alternating heat and cold will be ideal for alleviating leg pains that are associated with restless legs syndrome. Soaking your legs in warm water can also help relax your muscles. You can also get your legs massaged before going to bed to flex your muscles.

2. Exercises and relaxation

Exercising can help alleviate the signs and symptoms of restless legs syndrome. However, do not overdo it. Make the exercises moderate. You can also incorporate a small walk into your program.

Don’t let stress and muscle tension get out of hand for they can trigger the RLS symptoms. Take some time to relax. You can also embrace tai chi, yoga exercises, and meditation.

3. Sleep Environment

Lack of sleep is a common symptom of restless legs syndrome. However, you can design a sleep schedule and consistently follow it. Sleep at the same time each night and wake up at the same time each morning. You can also design a bedtime routine featuring some light exercises and relaxing time before going to bed. For instance, you can take a warm bath, read your favorite novel, or meditate. Make sure that your sleep environment doesn’t have digital clocks or glowing electronic gadgets.

4. Over-the-Counter drugs

If you are experiencing occasional mild or moderate pain, consider using pain relievers like acetaminophen. You can also try non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen, ketoprofen, as well as naproxen. However, remember that continual use of these medications can lead to ulcers, bleeding, as well as heart-related complications.

5. Vitamins and Minerals

Sometimes, RLS can be caused by the deficiency of certain vitamins as well as minerals in the body. They include:

• Iron
• Folic acid
• Magnesium
• Vitamin B

However, before increasing the use of dietary supplements, consult your doctor first. He/she will conduct blood tests to determine the exact vitamins and minerals your body is lacking. This will help your doctor prescribe the most effective dietary supplements that are safe.

Other alternative medications

• Narcotics: These medications can relieve pain
• Muscle relaxants
• Medications that treat Parkinson’s disease as well as epilepsy
• Gabapentin can also help in the treatment of severe restless legs syndrome.

What you should avoid

If you have been diagnosed with restless legs syndrome, you should adopt a healthy lifestyle. You should not sit in the same position for a long time and avoid anything that contains caffeine. Food and drinks that fall in this category are:

  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Carbonated soft drinks
  • Chocolate containing caffeine

Moreover, refrain from drinking alcohol and smoking tobacco since both can also trigger the symptoms of restless legs syndrome.