Restless Legs Syndrome
Restless legs syndrome (RLS) triggers an overwhelming desire to move the legs and manifests an irritating sensation on the legs as well. The sensation might also affect your face, arms, and chest. Restless legs syndrome is a serious, but curable condition. The feeling can be experienced as:
- Creepy-crawly sensations in the legs
- Throbbing, tingling, itchy, and burning sensations
- Painful or cramping sensation on the legs, especially in the calves
- A feeling of bubbly water inside your leg’s blood vessels
These unpleasant feelings range from mild to severe. They can usually be alleviated by gently moving and rubbing your legs. Certain people encounter symptoms on an occasional basis, while others experience them daily. It might be challenging for you to suffer from this over lengthy periods of time - for instance, on long train journeys.
If you’re suffering from restless legs syndrome, you might be wondering what kind of specialist to consult. The best thing to do is to start with a primary care doctor. Other medical professionals you may see include sleep medicine doctors and neurologists.
Restless legs syndrome is an illness that causes irritating sensations in the legs and having an overwhelming desire to move them. Moving your legs helps in relieving the sensations as well as the urge. If your symptoms worsen at night or during resting periods, you might indeed be having RLS. Therefore, be sure to seek medical assistance.
Specialists who can help treat RLS:
Primary Care Doctor
He/she will diagnose and treat restless legs syndrome. There are no specific or complicated diagnostic procedures for this condition. Your doctor will determine if you’re suffering from RLS by performing a physical examination, studying your previous medical history, and perhaps run some blood tests.
The primary care doctor might:
• Perform a physical examination to check for signs or symptoms of other conditions that may mimic those associated with the restless legs syndrome.
• Ask you to give a detailed description of your symptoms.
• Run blood tests to identify anemia or insufficient iron levels.
• Inquire about your family history.
Sleep Medicine Specialist
To achieve a confident diagnosis, you doctor might recommend a sleep study. To accomplish this test, you’ll have to spend a night in the lab. Caregivers will monitor your sleeping habits as well as the number of movements you make during sleep. Your medical specialist will then review the obtained data and send a detailed report to your primary care doctor.
A sleep study is convenient since:
- The affected person may have a difficulty falling or staying asleep, which is the primary symptom of RLS.
- Periodic limb movements can take place every thirty seconds and monitoring of these movements can be established during sleep studies.
- Most RLS patients experience involuntary leg movements while sleeping.
Apart from a primary care doctor, you may also decide to consult a neurologist, who highly specializes in nervous system diseases. Several disorders affecting the nervous system might be responsible for your RLS. A neurologist may diagnose and treat the following conditions:
• Parkinson’s disease - Patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease have a great tendency of developing restless legs syndrome.
• Peripheral nerve damage - In some cases, this condition might contribute to the frequency of RLS.
Your neurologist may be familiar with effective treatments for RLS. For instance, he/she may recommend anti-seizure or Parkinson’s disease medications. Since the exact cause of restless legs syndrome isn’t known, treating the underlying conditions can be quite helpful.