Restless Leg Syndrome is a common neurological disorder, which affects as many as 30 million people in the US. Often, people experience an uncontrollable urge to move their leg(s), which disturbs their sleep or makes it difficult to sit during the day. While this urge generally occurs in the lower leg or calf, it can affect the thigh, feet and upper body (arm). RLS can be a very stressful condition, often leading to sleep deprivation.
RLS symptoms usually get worse at night or when a person lies down in bed or sits for long periods of time. Symptoms often develop at night – between the hours of 10 PM – 4 AM and resolve by morning. However, it the disorder becomes severe, symptoms can develop during the day.
RLS symptoms include:
- Numbness or pain in leg or feet
- “Shock-like” pain
- Cramps, spasms
- Burning, stinging
- Bubbling or crawling beneath the skin
Restless Leg Syndrome occurs in men and women of all ages, but is most common in those in their late forties and older. Women have a higher incidence of RLS then men. Interestingly, 20% of pregnant women and dialysis patients are affected.
What causes legs to jump at night?
While the main cause of RLS is unknown (idiopathic), there are many theories:
- Neurologic abnormalities
- Neurologic abnormalities in the spine
- Compression or irritation on the nerve
- Chronic diseases (Diabetes, RA, Peripheral Neuropathy)
- Genetic factors
- Nutritional imbalances and deficiencies
- Iron deficiency
- Medication side effects
Are you seeking treatment for restless legs?
Drug-Free RLS help is available!
A diagnosis of Restless Leg Syndrome is an exclusionary diagnosis because there are no definitive tests. Our Team of Experts will focus on a patient’s description of symptoms and conduct a neurological and physical exam to rule out other medical conditions that could be causing RLS.
When seeking the best treatment for rls, many people turn to a Chiropractor, Physical Therapist, Acupuncturist and/or Nutritionist. Fortunately, all these options are available at The AIMS Clinic, under the direction of our Medical Director.
Here at The AIMS Clinic, our Chiropractic Healthcare Team focuses on the health of the body’s central nervous system. We are experts at identifying and successfully treating problems with the nerves of the body. A healthy central nervous system can help to free you from pain and many disorders, without the use of prescription or over-the-counter medication, or surgery.
If the cause of Restless Leg Syndrome is due to nerve irritation in the spine, chiropractic often helps! Muscle movement is controlled by nerves, therefore if nerves are compressed or irritated, or if there is a spinal misalignment – nerves misfire, which can cause the muscle to jerk or twitch. In addition chiropractic manipulation (spinal adjustment), electric nerve stimulation, ultrasound, heat therapy and cold therapy are utilized. By removing subluxations, the body can heal itself and normal function returns.
This natural treatment is an effective alternative to many medications. Stimulating specific acupuncture points can help to energize or align one’s qi and induce a smoother blood flow, which will reduce the urges of Restless Leg Syndrome. Qi is the energy that flows through the meridians of the body. If circulation in the legs decrease, the energy also decreases, resulting in abnormal movements and sensations. Most patients see results in 10 -15 acupuncture treatments – some sooner!
Our Physical Therapy Team can provide an evaluation and create a customized exercise program (aerobic exercises, weight-training exercises, and strengthening and endurance exercises) to help strengthen the pelvis, lumbo-sacral area and remove pressure off discs. Regular exercise – such as calf raises, ankle pumps, quadriceps sets, buttocks contraction and stretching may be recommended. Please speak with your doctor before adding or beginning an exercise program.
Our Medical Director can determine imbalances and deficiencies, along with testing for hypoglycemia and candidiasis. Have your diet evaluated by our Certified Nutrition Specialist, Licensed Dietician Nutritionist to address any nutritional deficiencies.
To help increase circulation, reduce or eliminate caffeine and alcohol. In addition, certain supplements may be recommended – such as vitamin E and folic acid. Some patients may be anemic or have low levels of iron and may necessitate a daily supplement or foods rich in iron.
Regular exercise (30 minutes most days), eliminate tobacco to increase circulation, relaxation exercises and deep breathing techniques may be recommended. Many people find relief by massaging their legs while soaking in a warm bath. Elevate your legs before bedtime may be beneficial.
Stop suffering with Restless Leg Syndrome! Let us help you get a good night sleep, go back to sitting at the movies, taking long car rides or enjoying any other activities that require prolonged sitting. RLS help is available. Call and schedule a free consultation today! Our Team will explain what causes legs to jump at night and what would be your best treatment for RLS.