The link between migraines and restless leg syndrome (RLS) may have been well documented by experts, but the unraveling of their exact connection—as to whether one condition is a cause of the other—still continues.
A growing number of studies has established that RLS occurrence is linked with higher migraine frequency: the estimated prevalence of RLS among migraine patients ranges from 8.7 to 39 percent.
Despite the close connection between RLS and migraine, it’s important to consider that just because you have migraines doesn’t mean you will develop RLS, and vice versa. Nonetheless, research suggests that restless leg syndrome treatment may be applicable to migraines, particularly that some medications may help prevent or reduce the intensity of migraine episodes.
Which RLS Medications May Help with Migraines?
Listed below are prescription medications for restless leg syndrome that can also be used in preventing or treating migraine:
Anticonvulsants, such as gabapentin (Horizant) and pregabalin (Lyrica), are an effective treatment for RLS and prophylactic agent for migraine.
Certain opioids, such as Tramadol, that are prescribed for alleviating RLS symptoms are also used in over 50 percent of migraine patients, according to a 2014 study published in Headache.
· Muscle Relaxants
Study shows that Botox injections at their recommended dose can reduce the severity of symptoms in RLS up to six weeks. A separate study on the effect of Botox on migraine shows the treatment can have a prophylactic benefit in people suffering from migraines.
The Common Risk Factors
Scientists further indicate that both conditions have the same possible risk factors, as listed below:
- Dopamine imbalances
- Iron deficiency
Restless syndrome causes a person to have an overwhelming urge to move their legs especially at night, consequently resulting in sleep deprivation. Studies show that insomnia is a risk factor for migraine.
As established above, there are certain restless leg syndrome medications that can help curb migraines. It’s also worth noting that RLS, in and of itself, has various causes, among which are venous diseases that may require a unique treatment approach. Nonetheless, treating venous diseases may indirectly help curb migraines by addressing RLS, and ultimately, insomnia, which, as has been mentioned, may cause migraines.
Restless Leg Syndrome Treatment in Kansas City and Marshall, MO
At Missouri Vein Specialists, Dr. Scott Darling has intensive training and extensive experience in the diagnosis and treatment of a wide variety of venous diseases, such as varicose veins and chronic venous insufficiency (CVI)—known culprits in RLS. Based on his comprehensive evaluation, Dr. Darling will recommend the best course of treatment, which can consist of either conservative options or a venous treatment procedure (endovenous laser treatment and sclerotherapy).
If you would like to explore the treatment options for RLS or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Scott Darling, call us at 816-792-3400 or fill out our online appointment request form.