Healthy Living

Restless Legs Syndrome: The Signs and Symptoms

Restless Legs Syndrome

Restless Legs Syndrome: The Signs and Symptoms

Key Takeaways

• You will often feel an unusual sensation after being at rest: this sensation will usually start after sitting for a long time.
• Relief by movement: sensations will be lessened with movements like stretching and jiggling your legs.
• Nocturnal symptoms: the symptoms will worsen in the evening but will be gone in the morning.
• Nighttime leg twitching: this condition is associated with periodic limb movements that can cause the legs to twitch as well as kick throughout the night.

Restless legs syndrome can be very tricky to diagnose. The reason is that the symptoms are worse at night and will disappear during the day. The restless legs syndrome symptoms are worse during pregnancy and are more prevalent in those with conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and anemia. However, people who have never had such problems can also develop this condition.

Restless Legs Syndrome: The Signs and Symptoms

The following are basic characteristics of the signs and symptoms of restless legs syndrome:

  • Unusual leg sensation after being at rest: this sensation will usually start after sitting for a long time.
  • Relief by movement: sensations will be lessened with movements like stretching and jiggling your legs.
  • Nocturnal symptoms: the symptoms will worsen in the evening but will be gone in the morning.
  • Nighttime leg twitching: this condition is associated with periodic limb movements that can cause the legs to twitch as well as kick throughout the night.

The urge to be in motion

If you are suffering from restless legs syndrome, you may feel an urge to move your legs. The following will usually relieve your symptoms:

  • Jiggling your legs 
  • Stretching and flexing 
  • Tossing and turning
  • Rubbing your legs

The sensations will generally occur in the limb rather than on your skin. They are described as a creepy-crawling, throbbing, pulling, and sharp itching sensations. 

Other signs and symptoms of RLS 

1. Insufficient sleep

If you are suffering from restless legs syndrome, you are likely to develop periodic limb movement in sleep (PLMS). This condition causes your legs and arms to twitch and jerk during sleep. Consequently, you will be made to wake up often, making you get insufficient sleep.

2. Sleep-related problems

Restless legs syndrome makes it hard for people to fall asleep. It also makes it hard for people to stay. Most people will resort to taking drugs to catch some sleep. However, it is advisable to first seek medical attention instead of relying on drugs to sleep. Remember, such drugs will not cure the condition.

3. Depression

Lack of sleep can also lead to depression and anxiety. This can lead to diabetes and high blood pressure. Moreover, depression can take a tragic turn. You are therefore advised to seek immediate medical attention if you suspect that you are having restless legs syndrome.

These unpleasant feelings can be mild or severe, and they are usually worse at night. These symptoms can be relieved by moving or rubbing your legs. However, you should see your doctor as soon as possible.

When should you see your doctor?

Restless legs syndrome can be mistaken for nervousness, stress, muscle cramps, and insomnia. However, it is important to seek immediate medical attention if you suspect that you are having restless legs syndrome before the situation gets out of hand.