- Restless legs, often abbreviated RLS, can cause an uncomfortable burning or tingling sensation in your legs.
- It is usually most noticeable in the evenings when individuals retire for the night. Once in bed, patients may feel compelled to move their legs and find it difficult to rest.
- It may make it hard for patients to fall asleep or stay asleep. It can be temporarily relieved by getting up to walk or move around.
- This disorder is most common in middle and older age groups and affects 10-15% of the population of the United States.
Restless legs can be caused by chronic venous insufficiency. There is a great overlap in the symptoms of vein disease and restless legs. Chronic venous insufficiency and varicose veins can cause symptoms of restless legs.
Recent medical research reported in the journal Dermatologic Surgery, showed that 22% of patients with RLS also have venous insufficiency. Studies show that the treatment of venous insufficiency can relieve symptoms of restless legs. According to a study in the Phlebology journal, in patients with RLS and venous insufficiency, 98% of patients experienced relief from restless legs symptoms by treating their venous insufficiency, and 80% had long-term relief.
Contributing Factors For Restless Legs
Peripheral Neuropathy (damage to your nerves in your hands or feet)
Parkinson’s disease and other neurological disorders
Treatment For Restless Legs
First Dr. Sellers suggests looking into lifestyle changes that may ease the symptoms of RLS. However if lifestyle changes do not provide sufficient relief, Dr. Sellers offers a highly effective laser treatment for RLS for patients who test positive for chronic venous insufficiency.
1. Lifestyle Changes
Eat a Healthy Diet
A healthy diet can help you sleep better. Avoid eating foods late in the day that would keep you awake at night like alcohol and caffeine.
Smoking may make you feel jittery. Cut back or stop smoking all together.
Check your Current Medications
Be sure to review your current medications with your doctor. All drugs have side effects, but some can make it hard for your muscles to relax or cause insomnia. Your doctor may be able to prescribe an alternative drug that won't contribute to keeping you awake.
Use Cold Compresses
The application of cold compresses may relieve your symptoms. 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off may help.
Massaging your legs with lotion, oil, or an over-the counter cream like Arnicare Gel may relieve your symptoms.
This is considered one of the most preventative methods for RLS. Simply walking or jogging 20-60 minutes a day can lead to better sleep habits, less pain, and less symptoms. Yoga is also a good option as people who practice yoga regularly experience less stress and less severe RLS symptoms.
Develop a Bedtime Routine
Developing a nightly routine may help you fall asleep with less trouble. It is also a good idea to try to turn off all lit devices like smart phones and televisions several hours before bedtime.
Reduce Your Stress
Stress can make RLS worse. Relaxation techniques, such as breathing and meditation, can help reduce your stress level.
Find out if You Need Supplements
Some reports suggest a link between having a vitamin D deficiency and RLS. Links have also been shown with low levels of iron, vitamins C and E and RLS.
2. Laser Procedure
As described above, if lifestyle changes don't work for you, Dr. Sellers offers a proven, minimally invasive medical treatment for RLS called Endovenous Laser Ablation. This treatment has a quick recovery time, involves minimal pain, can be done in the office, and leaves little to no scarring.
Schedule A Consultation
Call to schedule a consultation with Dr. Sellers and discover if EVLA is right for you.