What is Restless Legs Syndrome?

Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) is a condition that is characterized by unpleasant sensations in the legs and an uncontrollable urge to move them for relief. Individuals affected with the disorder describe the sensations as burning, creeping, tugging, or like insects crawling inside the legs. The sensations range in severity from uncomfortable to irritating to painful.

It is poorly understood, often misdiagnosed, and believed to be a neurological disorder.

Restless legs syndrome affects both the sexes, can begin at any age and may become worse. It is especially disrupts sleep leading to daytime drowsiness and disrupts daily activities.

For the most part, RLS isn’t related to a serious underlying medical problem. However, RLS sometimes accompanies other health conditions. In many cases RLS greatly decreases when the health condition associated with it is treated.

A number of simple self-care steps, lifestyle changes and other non medicinal approaches can help in preventing RLS.Medications also help many people with restless legs syndrome.

Types of Restless Legs Syndrome

RLS is categorized into two types:

1.Primary RLS

Primary RLS has no particular known cause. It is usually begins before approximately 40 to 45 years of age, and can even occur as early as the first year of life. It may occur for a short period of time like for days or moths. Even it may stay for years. It is often progressive and gets worse as the person ages.

Primary RLS in children is often misdiagnosed as growing pains.

2.Secondary RLS

Secondary RLS often has a sudden onset and may occur daily from the very beginning. It often occurs after the age of 40, however it can occur earlier.

It is mostly associated with some specific medical conditions such as iron deficiency, peripheral neuropathy, kidney failure, diabetes etc or the use of certain drugs.