Restless Legs Syndrome

Also knows as the Willis-Ekbom Disease, restless leg syndrome (RLS) is an uncomfortable sensation of the legs and the inability to resist moving them. It is usually an urge to move them and often happens during the later hours of the day, with the night being notably worse when the person is in bed. The same is true when inactive, and one can notice RLS when a person sits for an extended period whether at the office or during a leisure activity like watching television.

The reason RLS is problematic is that it makes falling asleep difficult for the person experiencing it. Physicians diagnose it as a sleeping disorder because it happens when a person is attempting to rest. That means that when they sleep, the sensation wakes them up and they can fall back asleep. While walking around or generally being active stops the restlessness, the same returns when a person is still. While this might sound odd for the person unfamiliar to it, it is not merely an inability to keep still. It is a neurological sensory disorder meaning it is the brain responsible for this movement.

If you have sat or slept next to a person fidgeting, one often finds their behavior to be annoying. However, should you have an awareness of such a person in your life, learn to understand better what they are going through as the discomfort is often worse on their end. Statistics say that about seven to ten percent of the US population suffers from it, with cases being somewhat higher in women. Due to the inability to fall and stay asleep, the person experiencing RLS is often fatigued during the day. Going without sleep places a person in a state where their mood and productivity becomes negatively affected, and as a result, putting a strain on their relationships.

Research shows us that not taking adequate rest has its risks. It means that a person is unable to concentrate and fall into a vulnerable position that might have them calling an accident injury attorney after an incident brought about by exhaustion. The ability to concentrate is diminished meaning that the person suffering is unable to successfully undertake the task and complete them within a given day. Left unchecked a person might fall into anxiety or depression.

Symptoms in people vary. For one person the same might be true on most nights and at varying degrees while for another it could be once or twice a week. While there are treatments for managing the disorder, when left unchecked the problem becomes worse over time. It is particularly problematic in people whose RLS is as a result of an underlying disease. Treatment therefore varies. A physician will undertake a test to determine the cause and treat the symptoms accordingly.


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