Restless Leg Syndrome Treatment



Restless Leg Syndrome Treatment can be approached in two ways:

  • Through a Restless Leg Syndrome natural treatment

    -OR-

  • By using drugs for Restless Leg Syndrome

Natural Cures for Restless Leg Syndrome

In mild cases, Restless Legs Syndrome Treatment can be as easy as finding activities such as taking a hot bath, massaging the legs, using a heating pad or ice pack, exercising, and elminating caffeine to help alleviate symptoms.

Many people would prefer to use a restless leg syndrome home remedy such as this, but in more chronic cases, further steps must be taken to address the symptoms.

Medication for Restless Leg Syndrome

In more severe cases, restless leg syndrome medication must be prescribed. Unfortunately, no one drug is effective for everyone with RLS. Individuals respond differently to drugs for restless legs syndrome based on the severity of symptoms, other medical conditions, and other medications being taken.

A drug for restless leg syndrome that is initially found to be effective may lose its effectiveness with nightly use; thus, it may be necessary to alternate between different categories of medication in order to keep the symptoms under control.

Although many different drugs my help with RLS, those most commonly used are found in the following three categories:

  • Benzodiazepines are central nervous system depressants that do not fully suppress RLS sensations or leg movements, but allow patients to obtain more sleep despite these problems. Some drugs in this group may result in daytime drowsiness. Benzodiazepines should not be used by people with sleep apnea.

  • Dopaminergic agents are drugs used to treat Parkinson's disease and are also effective restless leg syndrome remedy for many people with RLS and PLMS. These medications have been shown to reduce RLS symptoms and nighttime leg movements.

  • Opioids are pain-killing and relaxing drugs that can suppress RLS and PLMS in some people. These medications can sometimes be of great help for restless leg syndrome to people with severe, unrelenting symptoms.

Although there is some potential for benzodiazepines and opioids to become habit forming, this usually does not occur with the dosages given to most RLS patients.

Alternative Cure for Restless Leg Syndrome

A non-drug approach of the relief for restless leg syndrome is called transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation. It has the potential to possibly improve symptoms in some RLS sufferers who also have PLMS.

The electrical stimulation is applied to an area of the legs or feet, usually before bedtime, for 15 to 30 minutes. This approach has been shown to be helpful in reducing nighttime leg jerking.

Due to recent advances, doctors today have a variety of means for treating restless leg syndrome. However, no perfect treatment of restless leg syndrome exists and there is much more to be learned about the treatments that currently seem to be successful.

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Source:
Swanson, Jennifer. Sleep Disorders Sourcebook. Detroit, Michigan: Omnigraphics, Inc., 1999.