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Restless Legs Syndrome
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a disorder that causes a powerful urge to move your legs and feet. You may also have pain, itching, tingling, throbbing, or pulling sensations in your legs. Movement relieves the symptoms for a short time. RLS is usually worse late in the day and at night. Your symptoms may come and go for days or weeks at a time, and worsen during periods of stress. It is important to treat and manage RLS to improve your quality of life.
Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:
You may need to return for blood tests or other exams. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Manage your RLS:
There is no cure for RLS, but you may receive medicine to help treat it. You must also learn how to manage your symptoms. Management will not get rid of symptoms, but will help reduce them.
- Keep your legs warm with thick socks or an electric blanket. It may also help to take a hot bath or massage your legs before bedtime.
- Do not drink alcohol or have caffeine, especially in the evening. Alcohol and caffeine can prevent sleep and make your symptoms worse.
- Do not smoke. If you smoke, it is never too late to quit. Smoking worsens the symptoms of RLS. Ask your healthcare provider for information on programs to help you quit.
- Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Lack of sleep makes RLS worse.
- Stay active. Moderate physical activity such as walking and stretching may help relieve your symptoms. Ask your healthcare provider about the best exercise plan for you.
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- You cannot sleep because of your symptoms.
- Your symptoms are getting worse.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.