Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is defined as a neurological movement disorder characterized by sensory and motor abnormalities. The condition is typically accompanied by unpleasant sensations in the legs and an uncontrollable urge to move them for relief.

In laymen terms, the restless leg syndrome is a condition in which the legs feel extremely uncomfortable while sitting or lying down.

Also known as, the Wittmaack-Ekbom’s syndrome, the restless leg syndrome is widely recognized as one of the leading causes of painful legs. The restless leg syndrome is known to affect 12 million people in the United States.


Key Symptoms

An irresistible urge to move the legs is the most prominent symptom associated with the restless leg syndrome. Those suffering from RLS often describe the sensations as burning, creeping, tugging or as feelings of insects crawling inside the legs.

Also known as paresthesias (abnormal sensations) or dysesthesias (unpleasant abnormal sensations), these sensations hugely vary in severity, ranging from uncomfortable to irritating to being extremely painful.

Here we list the most common signs and symptoms associated with the restless leg syndrome:

• Originates during inactivity
• Relief by movement
• Worsening of symptoms in the evening
• Excessive leg twitching at nighttime
• Difficulty in sleeping


Causative Factors

Though it can occur at any age, the restless leg syndrome is mostly known to occur in middle-aged and older adults and is worsened by stress and anxiety.

Here we list some of the main causative factors associated with the development of this disorder:

• Iron deficiency
• Pregnancy
• Obesity
• Smoking
• Nerve disease
• Polyneuropathy
• Diabetes
• Kidney failure
• Caffeine, alcohol
• Medications (antidepressants, antihistamines, anti-nausea drugs, anti-psychotic drugs)
• Heredity

In general, the restless leg syndrome is also associated to vitamin and mineral deficiency, hyperthyroidism, heavy metal toxicity, toxins and the like.