Prevention of the Restless Legs Syndrome
The restless legs syndrome (RLS) has been recognized as a medical disorder in the 17 century and was described by Sir Thomas Willis, an English physician, for the first time. In 1945, this disorder has been explored and described in more detail by Swedish neurologist, Dr. Karl-Axel Ekborn. However, only in recent time, maybe because of our modern lifestyle and its by-product – stress, this syndrome gets more attention. The four traits are usually connected with the restless legs syndrome: strong urge to move the legs because of uncomfortable sensations, the symptoms are worsened when a person is resting, the symptoms improve when moving legs, and it becomes worse at night. Usually, the restless legs syndrome affects middle aged and elderly men and women, people with genetic predispositions, people who suffer from sleeping disorder, pregnant women, and people who take antidepressants. In order to prevent and reduce the symptoms of the RSL, the article “Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) Symptoms, Treatment, and Self-Help” gives us some advice on lifestyle and self-help treatment of the RSL.
Prevention of the Restless Legs Syndrome
Lifestyle treatments for restless legs syndrome (RLS)
There is a lot you can do to take care of restless legs syndrome yourself. Mild RLS can often be treated with lifestyle changes alone. The following daytime habits can help reduce the frequency and severity of your restless legs symptoms.
• Sleep better by sticking to a regular sleep schedule. Fatigue can worsen the symptoms of restless legs syndrome, so doing what it takes to get enough
sleep is crucial. Try hitting the sack at the same time every night, (or try warm baths or reading in bed) allowing plenty of time for winding down.
• Exercise in moderation. Daily activity, including moderate aerobic exercise and lower-body resistance training, can significantly reduce the symptoms of
restless legs syndrome. Swim, go for a walk, take the stairs, or spend a few minutes doing jumping jacks. Keep in mind that excessive exercise—like
training for a marathon—can actually make restless legs syndrome worse.
• Cut back on caffeine. Caffeine often makes the symptoms of restless legs syndrome worse. Try reducing or eliminating your consumption of coffee, tea, soft
drinks, and caffeinated foods such as chocolate.
• Avoid alcohol and cigarettes. Many people with restless legs syndrome find that their symptoms improve when they stop drinking and smoking.
• Consider dietary supplements. Check with a doctor or nutritionist to find out if you’re low on iron, vitamin B, folic acid, or magnesium. Deficiencies can
bring on RLS.
• Lose weight. If you’re overweight, dropping the extra pounds can often relieve or lessen the symptoms of restless legs syndrome.
• Try practicing relaxation techniques such as yoga and meditation. Stress can make RLS symptoms worse. Daily stretching and meditation can promote
relaxation and alleviate (RLS).
Self-help treatment for restless legs syndrome (RLS)
Living well with restless legs syndrome means knowing how to manage situations where you must be still. The following tips and tricks will help you control RLS so it doesn’t control you.
• Pressure can help relieve the discomfort of restless legs syndrome. Try wearing compression socks or stockings or wrap your legs in bandages (but not so
tight you’ll cut off circulation).
• Try sleeping with a pillow between your legs. It may prevent nerves in your legs from compressing.
• Try to find or create a work setting where you can be active. If you work at an office, look into a desk that lets you stand and type.
• Tell friends, family, and coworkers why you have to move more than others. They’ll likely be accommodating and want to help you create a healthy
• Choose an aisle seat at movies and on planes so that you can get up and move.
• Give yourself stretch breaks at work and during long car rides.
As with many other disorders, reducing stress levels and improving a healthy lifestyle can reduce and even remove the symptoms of the restless legs syndrome. A diet rich in vitamins and nutrients enhances an overall immune system, thus preventing the RSL from worsening. Every positive change in our lifestyle makes us stronger and less prone to develop the RSL, even if we are genetically predisposed. If we gradually introduce healthy habits to our current lifestyle, we can accustom to them easier and feel a significant progress by the time. This is not something that has developed for a one day, therefore we need a patience and persistence with ourselves and take some time to allow these symptoms to lessen and go.