Is Restless Legs Syndrome Really a Lifelong Problem?

istock 865283936 Restless Legs Syndrome can be more than a frustrating problem that makes a person want to move their legs when they should be sleeping. This condition can interfere with a person getting the quality rest they need to function well during waking hours. People with restless legs syndrome may need to get up from a resting position to shake their legs, stretch, or walk around just to get some relief. 

If, when you sit down or lie down to rest, you begin to experience persistent pulling, prickling, itching, twitching, crawling sensations, you may be looking for answers. One study found that 88% of people with restless legs syndrome had at least one sleep-related symptom, such as insomnia. Studies have also found links between RLS and various medical conditions such as neuropathy, iron deficiency, kidney disease, and multiple sclerosis. Some suggest that there is a genetic component, since multiple people in one family can have RLS. On that note, we should also mention that multiple people in one family can have varicose veins. 

How Is Restless Legs Syndrome Managed?

According to several health organizations, the treatment approach for restless legs syndrome is finding ways to manage symptoms so a person can sleep better. Rarely in these suggested approaches is there mention of seeing a vein specialist. There should be. From our perspective, venous insufficiency is an often-overlooked cause of restless legs syndrome (RLS). Numerous studies have revealed that as many as 22% of those with RLS also have venous insufficiency. This is a significant finding because it indicates another option for treating twitchy, restless legs. A study published in the Journal of Phlebology reported that in patients with both restless legs syndrome and venous disease like varicose veins, 98% experienced significant symptom relief via vein treatment.  Eighty percent experienced long-term relief. 

If you have venous disease coinciding with restless legs, there is hope. A simple office evaluation and noninvasive ultrasound of your legs is the first step in finding a potential long-term solution. 

Doctors often advise patients with RLS to try several home remedies that will help improve sleep. These include exercising daily (this also helps alleviate the symptoms of varicose veins), taking a hot bath, and massaging the legs. We would like to add one more suggestion: seeing a vein specialist for a thorough examination and ultrasound screening of the legs. 

Sun Vein and Vascular offers professional vein treatments in a comfortable, friendly environment. To schedule your consultation at our Dallas office, contact us at (214) 556-8880.

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