Have you ever experienced annoying jerks in your leg and cannot control your leg movement at night? Does it produce unpleasant sensations and cause sleep deprivation? Then, you are probably suffering from restless leg syndrome (RLS) if you meet the full diagnostic criteria. RLS is a neurological disorder affecting about 10% of Americans. Restless leg Syndrome RLS is a problem affecting the muscles and the nervous system. Besides causing unpleasant sensations, it increases the urge to move the limbs during the relaxing time.
Research describes RLS as a sensation like pulling, crawling, creeping, or tingling. These sensations are felt anywhere from the thigh to the ankle. Some people may also have unpleasant feelings in their arms, and sleep problems are common in people with RLS. The patient can manage RLS with a few treatments, specifically by modifying a few lifestyle changes. Chiropractic care is also effective for RLS, which helps restores proper nerve function. Learn more about RLS and its cure through chiropractic care in this article.
Overview of RLS with Statistical Evidence
Restless Leg Syndrome RLS causes a person to have an irresistible urge to move his legs or limbs. It happens because of an unpleasant sensation that typically occurs during the nighttime hours. If one satisfies their need to move their legs, they will experience momentary relief from the uncomfortable feeling. RLS interferes with daily activities and increases the likelihood of disrupting sleep and depression.
Recent statistics reveal that one million school-age children are affected by RLS, with 10% of the American population alone. A research report states that RLS symptoms worsen with time. Symptoms start appearing before age 10, whereas around 35% of the people report symptoms in their 20s.
The prevalence of RLS is higher in women than men. Pregnant women are 2-3 times more prone to RLS than the general population. Fluctuating hormones can provoke RLS, so women who are undergoing menopause or are pregnant are at a higher risk. The exact cause of RLS is still unknown; however, family history plays a crucial role in developing the disorder.
Symptoms and Causes of RLS
The main symptom of RLS is a strong urge to move the legs. The article further discusses the other accompanying signs of RLS below.
- Leg twitching at night. People with RLS may also develop a condition known as periodic limb movement of sleep. It causes the legs to wiggle or kick throughout the night while the person is asleep.
- Sensations begin while on rest. RLS causes unpleasant sensations when the body is at rest. If the person lies down or sits for an extended time, irritating feelings originate from this. These include itching, aching, throbbing, pulling, crawling, etc.
- Symptoms get worse—people with RLS experience unpleasant symptoms, mainly after the evening. People with RLS usually toss and turn during sleeping hours.
- Instant relief with movement. RLS symptoms lessen with pacing, walking, leg jiggling or rubbing, and stretching.
Experts are still on their way to uncovering the exact cause of RLS. However, many researchers claim that RLS cases are inherited and passed on to the generations. For the remaining instances, we may trace back the damage to the nerves to the following causes:
- Iron deficiency
- Kidney problems
- The use of medication
- Sleep disorders
- Parkinson’s disease
- Chronic ailments
Risk Factors of RLS
Certain things put you at a greater risk of developing RLS. Therefore, it’s essential to consider these factors.
- Gender: Women have two times more chances of developing RLS because of high estrogen and low iron. They influence glutamate and dopamine transmission, making women more vulnerable to RLS.
- Age: People can develop RLS at any age; however, it usually gets more severe after they cross 35.
- Ethnicity: Anyone can get RLS, but it’s more prevalent in Northern European descent. Several researchers claim that race is a strong predictor of RLS.
- Family History: You are likely to suffer from RLS if someone in your family has it. Inheritance plays a crucial role in developing RLS.
- Chronic Diseases: Chronic diseases such as diabetes, peripheral neuropathy, or kidney failure puts a person at a greater risk of RLS. Once the patient gets these conditions treated, RLS symptoms go away.
- Pregnancy: Pregnant women are at a higher risk of developing RLS than the general population. It’s because their hormones fluctuate more often than average. However, once the baby is delivered, the RLS symptoms go away.
- Medications: Medications can also cause RLS. Some antidepressants or antipsychotic drugs can aggravate the symptoms.
You can still treat RLS symptoms no matter how worse the symptoms get. Though, many people aren’t serious and are most likely to avoid seeing a doctor. But, it’s imperative to see a healthcare provider to alleviate the symptoms. The treatment options for RLS include the following:
- Lifestyle and home remedies
- Stretching and Massage Therapy
- Coping and Support
- Chiropractic Car
When To See a Chiropractor to alleviate RLS Symptoms?
Though neurologists and pulmonologists can adequately treat RLS; however, visiting a chiropractor can also benefit you, especially in the long run. If a body misalignment is causing you RLS symptoms, then chiropractic care will help relieve the symptoms. However, it’s best to consider your doctor before seeing a chiropractor to get the best results. RLS condition links itself to the body’s nervous system, so seeing chiropractic is highly effective. A chiropractor can help treat RLS symptoms and makes body adjustments that aggravate over time.
Chiropractors do not rely on medications, but help restore the proper nerve function in the legs. They use alignments and exercises to relieve RLS symptoms, and people can regain their everyday life.
How can chiropractic help People with RLS?
Chiropractic manipulation has a powerful influence on the nervous system. It plays a crucial role in balancing the nervous system by stimulating the proprioceptive nerves. The proprioceptive nerves of RLS patients do not work correctly and interfere with their daily activities. It prevents the normal functioning of these nerves by disrupting the proper nerve flow. Patients with restless leg syndrome cannot work productively if their blood flow is impaired.
Moreover, nerve irritation also happens, which disrupts the quality of life. Chiropractors help relieve nerve irritation and ensure proper nerve flow. They restore normal body function and alleviate RLS symptoms.
The skeletal system sometimes places unnecessary pressure on the joints or legs where a chiropractor’s help is essential. The chiropractor fixes spinal and body misalignments of RLS patients and creates a better functioning body.
Treating RLS Through Chiropractic Care
Chiropractic uses the following set of treatments to cure RLS symptoms. Here we’ll briefly discuss the chiropractic treatment options that depend on the severity and state of your health.
- Body adjustments. The chiropractic adjustment is required if misalignment is causing or aggravating the RLS symptoms. By working on the spine and body misalignment, the chiropractor helps relieve RLS symptoms.
- Massage therapy. Massage therapy is also considered effective in treating RLS. It helps relieve muscle tension that arises from fatigue or stress.
- Nutritional counseling. With certain dietary modifications, RLS symptoms can be well-managed. Chiropractors also use counseling methods to facilitate their clients.
- Application of heat therapy. Muscle strain is common among RLS patients, decreasing their psychological well-being. Heat therapy is applied to the patient’s legs to relax the muscles.
- Stretching exercises. Depending upon the condition, a few stretching practices can also benefit patients with RLS. Some of these include hip stretch, front thigh stretches, ankle rotations, and calf stretch.
- Electrostimulation. Chiropractors also use electrostimulation to treat overactive nerves. In doing so, they help prevent the restless sensations that RLS patients suffer from.
RLS is a complicated condition that impairs an individual’s health and well-being. That is why managing symptoms of RLS is essential to prevent abnormal functioning of the muscles and the nervous system. If you are suffering from RLS, share it with your healthcare provider. Chiropractic treatment is necessary to alleviate the symptoms of RLS of mild nature. Spinal adjustments and restoring the body balance help achieve a good quality of life.
Contact your Scottsdale Chiropractor, Dr. Abbas Khayami, D.C, at Better Health Solutions to learn more about Restless Leg Syndrome.
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