Finding Treatment for Restless Leg Syndrome

Restless Leg Syndrome TreatmentFor any given physical condition, there is always a cure; and therefore, for RLS, there is restless leg syndrome treatment.

Often referred to as Wittmaack-Ekbom’s syndrome, restless leg syndrome (RLS) occurs when you have an irresistible urge to move your body in order to relieve a feeling of discomfort. This disorder most commonly affects the legs, but it can also occur in your torso and arms.  When the affected body part is moved, a feeling of temporary relief is gained.

So what makes RLS so bad?

RLS usually becomes a problem or “disorder” when it starts to interfere with your resting or sleeping patterns. If you’ve ever experienced it, you’ll know how stressful it can become. You find it hard to keep still and getting a good night’s rest becomes challenging. When this happens night after night after night, it’s becomes vital that you find quick, effective treatment for restless leg syndrome.

What treatment options are available?

The restless legs syndrome treatment that you get depends on what is causing it in the first place. It’s possible that adults who are diagnosed with RLS today suffered in childhood with hyperactivity or growing pains that were actually symptoms of RLS that didn’t receive the proper treatment.

There might be a central nervous system disorder in the brain that is based on genetics or where there is an imbalance in the dopamine levels in the brain.  Stress can also exacerbate RLS. This can become problematic since all those restless nights can really tire and stress you out. That stress then causes more restless episodes, making it a never ending cycle until you can’t take it anymore.

There is actually no medicine or drug that will be successful in curing restless leg syndrome.  These types of treatments are used to manage the condition and relieve discomfort so that you can get to sleep.  RLS can often be caused by an underlying condition; and if that underlying condition is cured, it also helps alleviate your restless legs.

Adding to the fact that there are 2 types of RLS, finding treatment can often be tricky, and be a matter of trial and error.

With regard to primary RLS, this just occurs without cause in young people.  If it goes untreated, symptoms increase in severity and can disrupt your sleep.

In secondary RLS, anemia, kidney disease, thyroid problems, sleep apnea, pregnancy, and alcoholism are just some of the underlying conditions.  The cures for this type vary from simple exercise routines, getting more iron in your diet and avoiding alcohol to stronger treatments like prescription medications.

Go natural first.

Before opting for medications and other expensive, short-term treatments, it is best to try and reduce your RLS naturally. Not only is it safer, and cheaper, but the lifestyle changes you end up going through often make it a lasting, long-term treatment for your restless legs. Also you will become more in tune with your body and how it reacts to certain foods or exercises (for example). Over time, you’ll know which things to avoid and which to do more of to live a healthy, happy life.

So how exactly can you treat this disorder naturally?

As a starting point for a restless leg syndrome natural treatment there are a number of things you can do:

  • Getting regular exercise like stretching, pacing, walking or jogging a few hours before bed help to stimulate your legs and improve circulation to the affected areas. Also, exercise naturally boosts the dopamine or “feel good” hormones in your brain, which relax you and prepare you for a good night’s sleep.
  • Avoid or reduce caffeine, alcohol and tobacco use.  All these stimulants mess with the chemical balances in your brain. They can make you fidgety, depressed, over active, stressed and most importantly restless. So avoid them at all costs.
  • Apply heat or cold to your legs.  Like exercise, this improves the circulation to the affected areas, which can help them to relax.
  • And finally, when you’re lying in bed at night, try lie on your side with a pillow between your knees. This helps reduce pressures on your legs, encourages good circulation in your legs and should help initiate sleep.

Other restless leg syndrome treatment methods worth trying are the ones outlined in Jeremy Coughlin’s “Eliminate Restless Leg Syndrome” report. What I like most about his program is that it has been tried, tested and perfected to treat your RLS naturally and permanently.


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20 comments

  1. Nicholas. Stroebel

    Good afternoon.

    Im using medication by the name of Pexola 0.25 mg & taking 2 x tablets but this after some time does not have any effect on me, my RLS are so bad that it keeps me up until so 2 to 3 in the mornings, can you please assist, im 38 years old & ive been having this problem from a young age.

    Regards.
    Nicholas. Stroebel

    Reply
  2. Sherri Evans

    i have rls and also suffer from leg pain during the day and dont sleep i think its something else Sherri any ideas

    Reply
    1. Robert Post author

      Hi Sherry,

      The pain you experience during the day could be caused by a whole host of things. I mean, it could even be a form of Sciatica for all you know.

      Have you visited your doctor to make absolutely sure you do have RLS? If you have, did you mention the pain you feel in your leg during the day too? By being completely honest and open with your doctor he/she will be better able to find out what the problem is.

      Robert

      Reply
  3. Sharon

    I have RLS and have using Varidox from Gero Vita for several years.
    They have now discontinued the product. Possibly from lack of sales and substituted Veinicin. The Varidox worked for me 99.9% of the time so I am in a panic to find a product that will do the same thing Varidox did for me.
    The ingredients are Horsechestnut, Butcherbroom, GutoKola, WitchHazel,
    and Bilberry. I tried to change to another product some years ago but
    it didn’t work. VARIDOX is what works but I can no longer buy it. I feel
    the combination they offered worked for me. Now I don’t know what to do to duplicate the formula without buying several products. I have had RLS
    for about 15 years. My doctor wanted to prescribe a med used for parkinsons but I declined. HELP!

    Reply
  4. Robert Post author

    Hi Sharon,

    This is one of the reasons I do not rely on medications to cure my RLS. Yes, it is possible to find relief naturally, which is why I like Jeremy’s book (that I mentioned above).

    The thing with medicines is that they treat the symptoms, not the cause, so you rely on them for the rest of your life. Instead of finding your next “silver bullet” solution, have you considered trying the natural alternatives? You may be pleasantly surprised by how well they work.

    Robert

    Reply
  5. Rena

    I was just diagnosed with RLS, but I am unsure if they are right b/c they tested me for many things that all came up negative and said that it had to be RLS. Yes, I have bad pain at night but I also have a lot of pain during the day too. They said that it wasn’t a blood clot and that my spine and back were fine and they tested my muscle tissue which they said was fine too. I just want to know that I am getting treatment for the right thing. For now, they just gave me pain meds and I am supposed to come back to see what treatment they will start me on. Should I get a second opinion?

    Reply
    1. Robert Post author

      Hi Rena,

      If you feel that you need a second opinion, then by all means get one. If it is RLS that you have, then have you considered trying the natural alternatives first, before relying on heavy medications?

      If the pain is too unbearable, then it may be a good idea to stick to the pain meds. But remember that these will simply treat the symptoms and not the root cause of your RLS. You could always browse the site to see what other treatment options are available.

      Reply
  6. Mary Piette

    Does RLS ever come and go or once you have it it NEVER goes away. Several articles talk about Melatoma as something worth trying. What do you think?

    Reply
  7. Megine

    I have had RLS for as long as I can remember the only thing I have found that helps is requip and laying on my stomach and kicking my legs but only works about 40%of the time I cry all the time I go anywhere from 3 to 5 days without sleeping I want to cut my arms and legs off all the time ive accidentally punched my husband kicked my daughter in the face I feel like im losing control I cant handle it I need sometjing else

    Reply
    1. Robert Post author

      Hi Megine,

      I know how frustrating and debilitating it can be to have restless legs. Just like you, I used to lose hours of sleep every night trying to lay still.
      The kicking your legs routine sounds quite common and it may be that you’re simply not getting enough exercise during the day. How much exercise do you currently get?

      Robert

      Reply
  8. Sandy

    I have had RLS for over 50 years. By the way, RLS is misnamed. It should be called RBS (Restless Body Syndrome). I have tried elimination diets along with every medication normally given for the disease. I do take Mirapex at the moment. It works most of the time to the point of keeping me from suicide, but does not give me total relief. I want to sit and read but I cannot. I want to sleep but usually have to take a narcotic. That only lasts about 4 hours. I have a great deal of trouble concentrating. My breathing is uneven. Right now it is early morning and my hands and arms feel like…well, I really do not know how to describe it. There is no actual pain as one would think of pain. It is an odd sensation inside or underneath my skin. Or perhaps deeper than that somewhere between the bones and the skin. It is not to be described as “unpleasant”. That is a word that people use who have never experienced this most debilitating sensation that takes your breath away.. All I know is, it leaves me exhausted and unable to function with clarity, and only gets worse with each passing day. I am desperate.

    Reply
    1. Robert Post author

      Hi Sandy,

      I’m so sorry to hear about your chronic RBS (as you like to call it). I really do not know how you have managed to “cope” with it for so long! You mentioned you had tried elimination diets, but what about certain exercises? Did those help at all? Since you have been on medication for so long, you may be starting to get side-effects from long-term use, which could actually be exacerbating the condition, or bringing on more symptoms (like the uneven breathing and feeling exhausted). You can read more about Mirapex side-effects here.

      Like I mentioned before, medications and elimination diets are often used as treatment, but so are certain exercises, which I really feel you should have a go at. And if at all possible, try to ween yourself off the drugs.

      Reply
  9. Sandy Schools

    Thank You Robert. Yes I am familiar with all you say and have tried going off the Mirapex gradually but it was intolerable and I had to return to it. I am aware of the side affects. I in fact have gained 20 pounds over the 2 years I have been using Mirapex. Believe me, I would prefer not to be using it. Exercises of course helps, and that was all I needed when this first began years ago, but I have long since gotten past that simple solution. I can exercise yes, but the sensation returns shortly after. My tread mill is helpful for relief as well as a hot shower along with my muscle vibrator. I take high doses of calcium and magnesium and I do believe that helps.

    Reply
    1. Robert Post author

      Hi Sandy,

      What other types of exercises have you tried? I used to find that walking alone was not enough. I find it helps to do more intensive exercises like lunges, squats, push-ups, hiking (uphill), pull-ups (if you can manage), star-jumps, and more… These tend to exhaust your muscles better, and make you feel like you had a good workout.

      And what are your eating habits like? You say, that you take calcium and magnesium supplements, but would you say your overall diet is healthy and balanced? Are you possibly allergic or sensitive to certain food additives, like preservatives, MSG (flavor enhancers), Aspartame (artificial sweeteners), colorants, or any additive with a E, followed by a number (eg. E302)?

      Also, what were the tell-tale signs when you started to experience RLS for the first time? And did anything change in your life back then set off the condition? Would you say you were living a relatively healthy life back then? I know these questions may seem a little personal to answer, but it does help figure out why you got RLS in the first place.

      Robert

      Reply
  10. Sandy Schools

    I do not mind the questions at all. About the additives. Yes, I am aware that all that stuff in foods could be a problem. But those things were part of the elimination I did, and I saw no difference when not ingesting them. I do however, try to avoid additives as much as possible. I have always been conscious of trying to eat the right things. Yes, my diet has always been healthy except for an occasional indulgence deemed not so good. Exercise as you suggest is not easy for me now. I am 76 years old. The knee bends were something I always used to do and that helped, but my knees will not take it now. I could probably get back to the hiking stuff. I did used to do more outside walking than I do now. I guess that kind of stopped when My husband could no longer do it. Not sure I could handle the push ups, but will try it. As to when this all started. It was directly after my second child was born. I have three. I also had an aunt who had this malady. It began with her after her second child was born. Her RLS was no where near as bad as mine however. Yes, I would say that I have always lived a healthy life style. Sort of a meat and potatoes type with lots of fruit and fresh veggies. In fact now I eat only meats from grass fed animals without antibiotic treatment. That was triggered by the realization that when I took an antibiotic my RLS always flared up. However, I have seen no improvement with this change. Thank you so much for your interest. I can only look forward to no more RLS when I get to heaven. That day will come.

    Reply
  11. EVA DIAZ

    THEY TELL ME DOING YOGA HELP WITH RLS, WHEN THE ATACKS CAME ARE SO STROG THANT IS IMPOSIBLE TO RELAGE , I HAS TO WALK AND MASSAGE MINE ARMS AND LEGS…WE BELIVE THE YOGA CAN WORK?…THANK YOU…EVA

    Reply
  12. Ginger

    I have mitral valve prolapse syndrome and have always suffered from RLS since I can remember. I have lost thousands of hours of sleep over it. Now it is in my arms so not only do I want to kick things, now I want to punch something too. Tylenol helps sometimes, bad weather and weather changes make it worse. Since I have MVPS my nervous system is wired all wrong. I wish there was a cure. It makes me miserable. I had to quit breast feeding my twins when they were so tiny because of my arms, it was very frustrating.

    Reply
  13. Pam

    Robert, I am 67 years old. I used to experience RLS before I went to bed, and going to bed was the answer. I figured my body was tired and needed to lie down and rest. Never had RLS in bed. For the past 2 or 3 years, it comes once I’m in bed (seldom when I’m up). I have osteo arthritis (quite bad in my lower back), and I have fybromyalgia to which are tied sleep apnea and depression, for which I am being treated, and now insomnia. I have a treadmill and am now using it faithfully once or twice a day.

    My rheumatologist has just told me to begin taking Arginine, a natural supplement, for the RLS. I think it’s too soon to judge whether it’s working, but I’d like to have your take on the effectiveness of it. I checked the Arginine website, and there’s no mention of RLS.

    Reply
    1. Robert Drake Post author

      Hi Pam.

      First off, congratulations on taking action and using your treadmill to help prevent your symptoms. So much better than looking for a quick fix.

      Arginine is an amino acid (protein) that your body naturally produces, but based on all your other conditions, you may have a deficiency. This will have to be confirmed with your doctor.

      Now, how to get more Arginine in your body. Personally I would avoid supplements at all costs, and rather eat foods that are high in Arginine (or L-Arginine as it is commonly referred).

      Such foods include:
      – nuts (peanuts, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, cashews)
      – spinach
      – lentils
      – wholegrains (wholewheat pasta and breads)
      – seafood (crab, shrimp, lobster, tuna, salmon)
      – eggs

      Red meat is another source, but too much of it can place undue stress on your kidneys and liver.

      The problem with Arginine supplements, is that they can in fact trigger restless legs, along with a host of other side-effects. You can read more about it here and here.

      I hope that answers your question.

      Best of luck!
      Robert

      Reply
  14. Barbara Mahan

    I am ready to shoot myself, RLS is the most intense kind of torture I have ever experienced. I’ve had this for about 13 years. I discovered Tramadol after having cervical Disk fusion, that was the pain medication they prescribed. I have been on Tramadol for about 8 years and I also take Unisom (2 tablets) every night to hopefully knock me out. I only take one 50mg tablet of Tramadol a day, I was very disciplined as I heard the withdrawal from this is worse than heroin, so I didn’t want to suffer through that when I got off of it. I am now in the process of trying to quit both meds because I found neither thing worked anymore and seemed to augment RLS rather than stop it. The Tramadol worked good for RLS for years but now I am allergic to it, and I have intense itching and sometimes even hives, the Unisom is an anithistimine so it counteracted the itching most of the time. I would like something natural to try if you have any recommendations….already take magnesium and avoid salt. I think I would try almost anything if it helped even a little. Thank you.

    Reply

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