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Health Tip: Dealing With Restless Leg Syndrome

Ways to get temporary relief

(HealthDay News) -- Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is a common neurological disorder characterized by unpleasant sensations of the legs, and an urge to move them for relief.

Individuals affected with the disorder describe the sensations as pulling, drawing, tingling, pins and needles, prickly, and sometimes painful feelings that are usually accompanied by an overwhelming urge to move the legs. Movement provides temporary relief from the discomfort.

Because RLS is a lifelong condition for which there is no cure, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) suggests some methods for temporary relief:

  • Massage and application of cold compresses
  • Medications such as temazepam, levodopa/carbidopa, bromocriptine, pergolide mesylate, oxycodone, propoxyphene, and codeine
  • Correction of iron deficiency may improve symptoms for some patients.

Because symptoms are intensified by inactivity and lying down, RLS patients often have difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep. Left untreated, RLS causes exhaustion and fatigue, which can affect occupational performance, social activities and family life.

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