Restless legs syndrome


Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a sleep-related movement disorder that involves an almost irresistible urge to move the legs at night. This urge tends to be accompanied by unusual feelings or sensations, called “paresthesia,” that occur deep in the legs. These uncomfortable sensations often are described as a burning, tingling, prickling or jittery feeling. In some people these unpleasant feelings become painful.
The symptoms of RLS worsen when lying or sitting still and can be relieved at least temporarily, and often immediately, by walking or moving the legs. The urge to move the legs increases in the evening or at night, with relief tending to arrive in the morning. Onset occurs at all ages, from early childhood to late adult life. In children, RLS often is misdiagnosed as “growing pains.” It can be especially difficult for young children to describe the unpleasant sensations involved with RLS.
Symptoms may vary widely from one day to the next, and they are provoked by long periods of inactivity. Symptoms are most common in the legs but may progress to the arms and other parts of the body. In mild cases, RLS may occur with great irregularity and long periods of remission. Symptom progression involves greater intensity, more rapid provocation by rest, and the expansion of symptoms to involve more nights and more time during each night.
People with RLS often have periodic limb movements, a closely related sleep disorder that occurs when muscles involuntarily tighten, twitch or flex while you are still. Periodic limb movements in sleep occur in 80 percent to 90 percent of people who have RLS.

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