Restless leg syndrome is a condition that afflicts women more than men by a 2:1 margin and it causes the legs to move uncontrollably. The symptoms usually manifest themselves in the evening or at bedtime. Moving slightly will provide temporary relief, but remember the relief is only temporary.
You will know you have RLS if your legs feel uncomfortable and experience an intense need to move around while you lie in bed.
Symptoms of RLS
Sensations manifest themselves after rest
- Once you have relaxed in a sitting position or lying down for an extended period, the symptoms will begin. The symptoms will be prevalent if you are on a long car trip, an airplane ride, or taking in a movie.
Movement provides relief
- When the symptoms occur, the movement provides temporary relief. Activities like stretching, jiggling one’s leg, pacing, or walking will relieve the shaking you are feeling.
Symptoms get worse at night
- RLS is a nighttime problem
Leg twitches at night
- RLS has been known to be associated with another common condition known as periodic limb movement of sleep. During sleep, your legs will twitch, and kick during sleeping hours.
What RLS suffers feel
When describing the affliction, RLS suffers say that they feel abnormal and or unpleasant sensations in the legs and or feet. Most times, the sensations are felt on both sides of the body and in the arms – but that is extremely rare. Patients, often say, that the sensations are felt below the skin in the limbs rather than on the skin. The sensations are described this way.
- Crawling feeling
- Creeping feeling
- Pulling feeling
- Throbbing feeling
- Aching feeling
- Itching feeling
- Electric feeling
At times, the sensations are difficult to explain, and the RLS suffers don’t describe the problems like muscle cramps or numbness. The one constant, though, is that they have an uncontrollable urge to move their legs.
Vein disease and RLS the connection
One in five RLS suffers also suffer from vein disease. It can be the springboard to RLS and they share many common traits. The two major problems that share similarities with RLS are varicose veins and venous insufficiency. Some in the scientific community believe that there is a connection between chronic venous insufficiency and varicose veins and the causes of RLS. When attending a doctor for RLS, many patients are surprised to find that they are examined for vein disease. Vein disease is often the underlying condition for RLS and it must be identified and treated before relief from RLS is found.
Treatments for RLS
You can change your lifestyle to provide some relief and diet is the key. If you are suffering from an iron deficiency, improving your vitamin intake can be a solution to the problem. Daily exercise, stretching, improved sleeping schedule, reduced exposure to stress can be helpful for the relief of the symptoms. Pre-existing health conditions can affect you also. Anemia, pregnancy, diabetes, kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, thyroid problems, neurologic lesions, sleep apnea, and alcoholism are contributors to RLS. Once you have eliminated these underlying problems an effective treatment regimen for RLS can begin.
Compression wear for RLS
Your doctor will provide excellent advice when you are selecting compression wear to deal with your RLS condition. Compression wear is an elastic type of hosiery that is worn by the suffers from RLS. The hosiery – socks or stockings – increase blood circulation in the legs that prevent health problems like spider veins, chronic venous insufficiency, and varicose veins.
The stockings or socks apply pressure to the ankles and legs. The pressure helps the vein valves function properly and send blood back to the heart unencumbered by obstructions.
When you use the socks or stockings you must put them on in the morning before you lower your legs when you get out of bed. If you don’t stand to put the socks on, the damaged veins will have problems returning blood to the heart.
Compression socks or stocking can alleviate these symptoms
- Swollen ankles
- Aching or heavy legs
- Pain and fatigue
- Leg cramps at night
The benefits that come from compression wear are many, and conditions that aggravate RLS like prolonged sitting or standing, long rides on planes or cars, or pregnancy are alleviated.
When choosing compression wear socks or stockings, it is important to get the right amount of pressure applied to areas in need. Your doctor will be able to advise you on the best course of action, and there are four levels of compression to choose from.
- If you suffer from a mild form of venous insufficiency or RLS, a light application of pressure will help keep healthy blood flow in your legs. Once you have the right blood flow, your legs will feel lighter, and you’ll feel better too.
- If you have spider veins and or varicose veins along with RLS, using a moderate compression sock or stocking is recommended and is very effective in providing relief for the RLS suffer.
Firm and extra-firm compression
- For more serious cases of venous disease, firm compression wear will provide support for circulation and relief of symptoms associated with RLS.
Right size the socks or stockings
Just like buying comfortable shoes, choosing compression socks or stockings in the right size is crucial for all-day comfort. It all starts with measurements to determine the size you need. Here are a few helpful tips to set you on your way
- Measure your leg or lower leg before you get out of bed in the morning.
- If you need stockings, start at the narrowest part of your ankles and the widest part of your calves. The next step is to sit up, place your feet on the floor at a 90-degree angle, and measure from the bent knee to the floor for each leg.
- If you need thigh-high stockings, repeat step two, measuring from the floor to bent knee. Then, stand up, and measure from the thighs to the floor. The final step is a measurement between your buttocks and the floor.
When you need help to deal with RLS and compression wear is the best course of action for your condition, call on Alla and her team at Care-Med. Care-Med has been serving the needs of patients across the Greater Toronto Area for many years and they enjoy an excellent reputation for quality products and services.
We at Care-Med welcome patients with health insurance, ODSP, or ADP that will help facilitate treatment or orthotics when they are needed.
To obtain a confidential consultation please feel free to call our office at 416.782.5353 for more information. For general inquiries, please contact us by email at email@example.com, and we will address your concerns.