Feeling Urge to Move Your Legs at Night Could Be Very Serious…Don’t Ignore It!
Willis-Ekbom Disease, widely known as Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS), is a neurological disorder that affects millions each year. The Mayo Clinic reports that there has been an increase in the desire for treatments that are not pharmacological in nature including mental altering activities, avoiding substances or medications that may exacerbate RLS, and iron supplements. Not only does RLS occur more in women that in men, but it can happen at any age. Furthermore, the symptoms of RLS vary in during and severity for each person ranging from mild to severe.
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, Restless Legs Syndrome has four primary features including:
1. Uncomfortable Sensation and Urge to Move Legs
The sensations felt in individuals affected by RLS include aching, pulling, and crawling that may range from uncomfortable to painful. There is an overall urge to move the legs in order to relieve this sensation. Although it frequently occurs in the calf area, it can range from the thigh to the ankle in one or both legs. Rarely, this sensation can also be felt in other limbs such as the arms.
2. Increased Symptoms at Night
Generally, those who experience restless leg syndrome feel symptoms at bedtime, causing sleep problems. While some may have symptoms throughout the day as well, they tend to increase during the evening when trying to sit still for an extended period of time.
3. Sensations are Initiated During Rest
Most people report that they have symptoms of restless leg syndrome when they are in periods of rest such as lying down at night, sitting down all day at work, or throughout a long plane ride. Unfortunately, this may make activities that would normally be enjoyable, unbearable.
4. Symptoms are Relieved with Movement
Movement such as getting up and walking are what typically relieve any symptoms associated with RLS. Once the sufferer settles back into a restful state, they tend to return. Most individuals with restless leg syndrome experience rhythmic movements during sleep or legs that “jump” on their own.