Are you looking for remedies for restless leg syndrome (RLS)? You're not alone. The NIH estimates that as many as 10% of people in the US have RLS. If you think you're suffering from this condition, there are natural remedies that can help provide relief for people with mild to moderate cases. But first, what exactly is RLS, what is the cause of restless leg syndrome? Keep reading to find out!
What is Restless Leg Syndrome?
RLS is an interesting condition because the cause of restless leg syndrome varies from person to person. The condition is classified as the "uncontrollable urge" to move your legs. Often, this urge is caused by a sensation in the legs that make it very uncomfortable not to move.
You may also find RLS referred to as Willis-Ekbom disease.
Since the condition can occur at any age, you may suffer from RLS as a teen or senior. Often, the disease will be mild and not cause any severe pain or discomfort. However, over time, the condition can worsen and start to disrupt your everyday life.
Symptoms of Restless Leg Syndrome
If you have a constant urge to move your legs to the point where it's uncontrollable, you may have RLS. For most people, the condition occurs on both sides of the body and can best be described as:
A few of the accompanying symptoms that you may experience include:
- Symptoms that tend to get worse in the evening and overnight.
- Relief when you move, such as walking or straightening your leg.
- Symptoms that present themselves after you lay or sit down for an extended period of time.
- Twitching of the legs, especially when you sleep. Depending on the individual, this twitching may be a full kick of the leg or a slight twitch.
Sensations are often the cause of a person's discomfort when they're experiencing RLS. People often feel the sensation below the skin's surface. It may be achy, throbbing, pulling, crawling, itchy, or even electric.
It can be difficult to explain what you're feeling when you have RLS.
For many people, symptoms can be bad one night and then disappear for some time before returning. Treating your symptoms is possible, and natural remedies are often the best course of treatment because they pose little to no side effects.
However, if the condition is caused by some form of a deficiency, such as a lack of magnesium, supplementation may offer the best form of relief.
You can discuss your symptoms with a doctor, and it's recommended that you do when your RLS leads to issues falling and staying asleep.
In the most severe of cases, RLS causes severe sleep disruption and impacts quality of life. The condition can also lead to depression, drowsiness, napping in the middle of the day, and insomnia.
Causes of Restless Leg Syndrome
RLS has a lot of causes, and pinpointing the cause of your condition isn't always easy. Certain chromosomes in your genes may increase your risk of getting RLS, which means it may be hereditary.
If this is a hereditary issue, it will likely occur before you're 40.
Hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy can cause symptoms to occur or worsen if you already suffer from RLS. However, if you just start to experience RLS when pregnant, delivery will often lead to RLS going away.
Multiple deficiencies may cause RLS, including being deficient in:
Multiple risk factors can increase your chances of RLS, including peripheral neuropathy, kidney failure, and spinal cord conditions.
Natural Remedies for Restless Leg Syndrome
Natural remedies are superior for treating RLS because they're not accompanied by side effects like nausea, vomiting, or more. The leading natural remedies for RLS include:
Magnesium is a good option for RLS because it's thought to be the cause of restless leg syndrome. In addition, some research suggests that magnesium deficiencies may be the root cause of some people's conditions.
Magnesium is thought to help the muscles relax, potentially, due to its ability to block calcium.
Easy to use topical magnesium creams are available that may help to provide targeted relief while also combatting magnesium deficiency.
2. Iron Supplements
Iron supplements, or a really good multivitamin, may help correct your RLS. Iron deficiencies are linked to RLS in many sufferers, and a blood test can help you determine whether iron is causing your issues or not.
3. Vitamin D Supplements
Vitamin D deficiency is a growing concern as people spend less time outdoors. If you can't spend 15 minutes in the sun per day, a vitamin D supplement may help ease your symptoms. One study found that supplementing with this crucial vitamin helped provide relief for people's RLS symptoms.
4. Vitamin C and E Supplements
5. Stretching and Yoga
Sometimes, the best relief is found by simply getting moving. Being active can help reduce symptoms. In fact, there was an 8-week study that found yoga and stretching helped:
- Improve sleep
- Reduce stress
- Increase mood
- Relieve RLS symptoms
Yoga itself improves sleep, according to a 2012 study. If you don't prefer stretching and yoga, you can also perform resistance training. Lower body resistance training, three times a week, was able to significantly reduce the symptoms of RLS in participants over the course of a 12-week period.
If you're suffering from RLS, you can often find relief without medications. The natural remedies for restless leg syndrome often alleviate symptoms and don't pose a significant risk of side effects like traditional medications due, such as Requip, Neupro, and Mirapex.
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