What Does RLS Mean and What Are the Symptoms?

It is estimated that as many as 15% of the adult population in the United States suffers from restless legs syndrome (RLS). People with RLS have an irresistible urge to move their legs in order to relieve an unpleasant sensation or pressure in the lower limbs. Patients often describe the sensation as a persistent tingling that can only be eased when they move their legs.

There is no specific medical test for diagnosing RLS. Your doctor may perform tests to rule out other potential causes of the odd sensations, such as an iron deficiency or fibromyalgia.

Therefore, an RLS diagnosis is made purely based on your symptoms. To be diagnosed with RLS, you must meet all five of the following criteria:

  1. The urge to move the legs is usually, but not always, accompanied by uncomfortable sensations.
  2. The sensations start or worsen during rest or inactivity.
  3. The sensations are partially or completely relieved by movement.
  4. The sensations tend to worsen at night.
  5. The symptoms are not caused by another medical or behavioral issue.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to treating RLS. Your doctor may recommend non-drug treatments, such as exercise, consistent sleep habits, and massage therapy. Your doctor may also prescribe medications to control sensory symptoms in your legs or to block the pain signals from the nerves to the brain.

Let’s talk about some of the most common signs of restless legs syndrome, and where you can go here in the Kansas City area for treatment that finally provides lasting relief of your RLS.

Common Symptoms of Restless Legs Syndrome

Some of the classic signs and symptoms of RLS include the following:

Persistent and Uncomfortable Leg Sensations

The main symptom of RLS is leg discomfort. These sensations occur or worsen when a person with RLS has been lying down or sitting for a period of time.

If you have RLS, you likely have leg discomfort when you’re trying to fall asleep or after driving for an extended amount of time. Patients describe the unpleasant sensation as an itching, throbbing, burning, or crawling feeling.

Relief During Movement of the Legs

In RLS, moving or shaking the legs usually eases the symptoms, but not for long. Once the legs stop moving, the sensations tend to creep up again.

Sleep Disruptions

RLS symptoms often start or get worse at night. Patients, therefore, do not get enough sleep, or they wake up in the middle of the night due to the odd sensations. The constant urge to stretch the legs tends to keep people with RLS awake, preventing them from getting sufficient sleep.

RLS Treatment in Kansas City, Liberty, and Marshall, MO

If you or your loved one has the Jimmy Legs or The Kicks, schedule a consultation with Dr. Scott Darling. Restless legs syndrome can indeed be successfully treated, so everyone can get a good night’s sleep.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Darling here at Missouri Vein Specialists, contact our caring staff today by calling us at (816) 792-3400 or by filling out our appointment request form online now. We look forward to helping you get relief from RLS!