Some individuals experience abnormal sensation of something creeping and crawling underneath the skin of their arm. This makes the person to move his arm continuously to get relief. The condition is known as restless arm syndrome.
Usually the weird feeling occurs while resting at night. Patient suffering from it therefore finds difficult to sleep at night.
Restless arm syndrome can affect any individual, but the condition is more common with growing age. Males and females are equally affected. Exact cause of this syndrome is not known. Restless arm syndrome may worsen if left untreated. Simple lifestyle changes and medications will significantly decrease this abnormal sensation.
What Causes Restless Arm Syndrome?
Researchers are yet to find the exact cause of restless arm syndrome. An imbalance in dopamine, a chemical in brain which controls muscle movement is suspected to be responsible for it.
- Heredity: People suffering from restless arm syndrome in early age have possibility of family history of same condition.
- Stress: A person susceptible to this condition is more likely experience tingling and crawling sensation under stressful situation.
- Diabetes: Diabetics suffering from peripheral neuropathy are likely to experience this type of discomfort in arm and hands.
- Pregnancy: Some women during their last trimester develop restless arm syndrome due to changes in hormonal balance. The symptoms usually disappear after pregnancy.
- Iron deficiency anemia: People suffering from bleeding disorders, women suffering from severe loss of blood during menses, people donating blood repeatedly may have depletion of iron storage leading to iron deficiency anemia which may trigger restlessness in their arm.
- Drugs: It can be an effect of certain drugs.
- Renal failure: People suffering from renal failure may have low red blood cells and low hemoglobin. This results in iron deficiency anemia, subsequently producing restless arm syndrome.
- Folic acid and vitamin B12 deficiency which is common among alcoholics is suspected to play a role in development of restless arm syndrome.
Symptoms Of Restless Arm Syndrome
Patient suffering from restless arm syndrome has typical abnormal sensation in his arm. The feeling of crawling, tingling, creeping, and burning make him restless. This occurs when patient is at rest especially while sleeping often awakening him. He feels better with moving his upper limbs or while walking. The feeling soon returns when he becomes inactive.
Disturbance during sleep as a result of this discomforting sensation can take its toll during the daytime activity. He may feel drowsy and tired during day as a result of lack of sleep. The severity of symptoms greatly varies from one person to another.
Home Remedies To Cure Restless Arm Syndrome
Restless arm syndrome is not life threatening condition but it can make the life of a person miserable. Change in lifestyle and use of certain medicines is beneficial in decreasing the episodes. Gradually the condition is cured.
- Medicines used for Parkinsonism and epilepsy are found effective in treating restless arm syndrome.
- Since stress has major impact on body and several body hormones, try to live stress free life. Meditation, yoga, Thai chi are relaxing for mind and body. Practice them daily.
- If you are diabetic, control your blood sugar. Keep a check on your sugar level from time to time. Take your anti diabetic medicines regularly.
- Avoid excessive intake of tea, coffee, alcohol, as these stimulants are known to worsen the symptoms.
- Moderate exercise such as walking for half hour daily is beneficial in reducing the symptoms.
- Eat healthy food that provides all nutrients. Eat foods that are rich in iron if you are anemic.
- Applying cold and warm compresses alternately is effective in treating the weird sensation in arms.