If you struggle with unpleasant leg sensations that compel you to move your legs, you may have restless leg syndrome: A condition that should be treated early because symptoms usually worsen over time. Puja Thakkar, DO at Golden Gate Sleep Centers specializes in restoring sleep for patients with restless leg syndrome. Dr. Thakkar works with each patient to help them regain comfortable and sound. To schedule an appointment, use online booking or call one of the offices in Danville and Fremont, California.
RLS is a neurological disorder that causes unpleasant sensations in your legs and an uncontrollable urge to move your legs to relieve the sensations you feel.
Since these symptoms tend to worsen when you try to sleep, RLS makes getting a good night’s sleep difficult. The lack of sleep can lead to exhaustion, problems with memory and concentration, and daytime sleepiness that affects your ability to function.
When RLS first starts, its symptoms may come and go. Over time, symptoms become more frequent and more severe. The key signs of RLS are:
Uncomfortable symptoms start when you sit or lay down, whether you’re taking a trip in the car or relaxing while you watch TV. Symptoms worsen the longer you’re at rest.
Patients with RLS develop sensations in their legs described as painful, itchy, achy, creepy-crawly, tugging, and throbbing. The sensations may range from mildly uncomfortable to excruciatingly painful. The sensations usually affect both legs but may alternate between sides.
You can’t resist the urge to move your legs because it relieves the uncomfortable sensations. Although movement helps, the sensations usually return when you try to rest again.
RLS symptoms typically occur at night when you first try to sleep, making it hard to fall asleep or stay asleep.
Many patients with RLS also have periodic limb movements, so their legs involuntarily twitch or jerk while they sleep.
In some patients, RLS correlates with an underlying health condition such as iron deficiency or kidney disease. Frequently, treating the underlying condition may completely resolve your restless leg symptoms. These treatments may also be combined with therapies aimed at addressing your RLS symptoms exclusively.
Your treatment plan may include the following:
Moderate exercise, leg massage, warm baths, and heating pads may help relieve symptoms. Iron supplements often reduce symptom severity.
Dr. Thakkar may recommend anti-seizure medication, which effectively diminishes unpleasant leg sensations. Since RLS is associated with dysfunction in the area of the brain that uses dopamine, medications that boost the level of these neurotransmitters are often effective for treating RLS symptoms.
Don’t let restless legs continue to interfere with the quality of your life and your sleep, call Golden Gate Sleep Centers or book an appointment online.