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Restless Leg Syndrome & Periodic Limb Movement Disorder

Restless leg syndrome

Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS), which often appears in otherwise healthy people, is not related to emotional or mental problems. People experience restless legs in many different ways, but most describe very unpleasant sensations when they are sitting or lying still, especially in the evening or at bedtime. These sensations are often disturbing enough to cause insomnia.

The constant need to stretch or move the legs to get rid of the discomfort often prevents a person with RLS from falling asleep. RLS sufferers may also experience discomfort during the daytime, as it can interfere with the length of time they can travel by airplane, car, or any other form of transportation. 

Some home remedies for RLS include

  • Hot bath
  • Leg massage
  • Applied heat
  • Ice packs
  • Aspirin or other over-the-counter pain relievers

Periodic limb movement disorder

Periodic Limb Movement Disorder (PLMD) is related to RLS but is exhibited during sleep rather than while awake. Periodic limb movements usually occur involuntarily in the legs, but may also affect the arms. An observer might describe these movements as a "jerk" or "kick." Movements occurs at periodic (regular) intervals with 20 to 40 seconds separating each kick, and a series of at least 4 jerks must be seen to diagnose PLMD.

People with PLMD are often not aware of these movements, although some may notice similar involuntary movements while they are still awake. Those with PLMD may be awakened by leg movements occurring immediately after falling asleep, and awaken so quickly that they may not realize they were asleep.

Many people with PLMD need no treatment because they sleep through the limb movements and have no significant symptoms. Others who are easily disturbed by the movements may be able to reduce or eliminate their sleep complaints by improving the soundness of their sleep.      

For more information

To get a free brochure or to learn more about RLS and PLMD please call 262-928-4043.