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Treatments for Restless Leg Syndrome

  • Treatment for increasing the dopamine: Pramipexole, ropinirole and rotigotine are mostly believed to increase the amount of dopamine for reducing the movement.
  • Opioids: There are certain narcotic medications which includes use of acetaminophen, oxycodone and codeine which are known to provide relief from symptoms of the restless leg syndrome. These are mostly used to provide relief from pain. In certain cases when the other medications do not turn out to be helpful then opioids can be used in lower doses for treating RLS.
  • Drugs that affect the calcium pathways: Certain drugs such as pregabaln and gabapentin are known to be helpful in treating the case of restless leg syndrome. It is not yet completely understood as to how does gabapentin work to provide relief from the symptoms of RLS but there have been studies which have shown it to be effective enough.
  • Muscle relaxants: For RLS the most common sedatives would include sonata, clonazepam, temazepam and ambien.
  • Use of sleep medications: For these patients to sleep better the doctor can also prescribe the use of benzodiazepines. These drugs are known to be helpful in treating anxiety as well as anything related to sleep. Clonazepam as well as other types of drugs are most often prescribed for those people suffering from RLS in combination with other kind of drugs. But this medicine is known to not remove the leg sensations on a permanent basis. It is a temporary form of relief. Apart from sleep medications, one should also practice healthy sleep habits mostly for those who have trouble sleeping associated with any medical condition including RLS. Sleeping better may not solve the symptoms of RLS but it could surely help you to offset the loss of sleep which one suffers due to this condition.
  • Dopamine agonists: For those individuals who are experiencing recurrent cases of RLS, the doctor can recommend to use dopamine agonists such as pramipexole. Dopaminergic drugs are mostly known to increase the release of the dopamine present in the brain. Dopamine is basically a chemical which helps in enabling normal form of body movements. They provide relief from RLS symptoms since the condition is mostly associated with the problems of the body’s production of dopamine. But one should ensure to use them with caution since long term use may lead to worsening of the symptoms, hence doctors would mostly prescribe the lower dose of these medications.
  • Levodopa: This is mostly recommended only when the symptoms experienced by the individual tend to occur occasionally. The reason is because levodopa can tend to worsen the condition if it is consumed inappropriately or for a longer duration.
  • Limit the intake of caffeine: By reducing the intake of caffeine it can help the individual to sleep better and also reduce agitation.
  • Go in for regular form of exercise: The individual suffering from RLS should practice regularly yoga or tai chi which can bring about improvement in the symptoms of this condition hence would relax them physically as well as mentally. Exercising is known to make you feel better but it is important to practice it in moderation rather than carrying out aggressive form. Do not work out to the point of getting pains and aches since it can lead to worsening of the RLS symptoms. Add in some calf or upper leg stretches to your plan of daily routine for gaining the maximum benefit out of it.
  • Massage technique: Massaging the legs on a regular basis would turn out to play a crucial role in providing relief from the restless leg syndrome. Massaging the legs would help to provide ease in the RLS symptoms. Apart from this benefit, massage is also known to help in providing relaxation which in turn leads to improvement in sleep.

Apart from the above mentioned treatment options, few of the other techniques which can help to get relief for those suffering from RLS are going in for hot and cold treatments which can be done before going to bed or application of hot or cold packs to the legs. Acupuncture can also be useful in treating most of the health conditions and this RLS is one of those. But there is still more research required for confirming on this technique to be a reliable method.