Symptoms of Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)

Restless Legs Syndrome is characterized by a number of symptoms—sensations experienced by an individual that are otherwise unobservable.

Diagnostically Significant Symptoms of RLS

There are two major symptoms of Restless Legs Syndrome:

  1. Discomfort or irritation in the legs that is only present and/or worsened by lying down
  2. A near-irresistible urge to move the legs

The discomfort experienced by those with RLS has been described in a number of ways, including:

  • Itching
  • Burning
  • Crawling
  • Throbbing

While it may feel different to each individual, it is clear that the sensation of restless legs is very different from muscle pain, cramps or the burning associated with neuropathy.

Effects of Restless Legs Syndrome

Given what is currently known and understood about Restless Legs Syndrome, the condition does not seem to negatively impact the health of the legs. In other words, RLS is not a risk factor for blood clots, nerve damage, muscle atrophy, etc. in the legs.

The main consequence of RLS is loss of hours and quality of sleep. Over time, lack of restorative sleep takes its toll on your health, increasing your risk for:

  • Weight gain
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular disease

Poor sleep also affects your mental functioning, resulting in daytime sleepiness, inability to concentrate and/or difficulty remembering.

Help for RLS

There are a number of treatment options for Restless Legs Syndrome, but before the right treatment can be identified, you need to rule out other medical conditions and find the cause of your RLS symptoms. A diagnostic sleep study is the first step.

Contact Neurology & Sleep Medicine in Albuquerque, New Mexico to schedule your initial consultation with our board-certified sleep specialist.

Get help for your Restless Legs Syndrome and get a better night’s rest. Call Neurology & Sleep Medicine to schedule an initial consultation today.

Sleep: The Foundation of Your Health—We Can Strengthen It.


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