Restless feet or legs syndrome is a condition wherein you have an uncontainable desire to move your feet constantly. It characteristically occurs in the night while you are sitting or lying down. Moving the legs and feet allays the disagreeable sensation for the time being.
Simple self-care steps, medications and lifestyle modifications can help you handle the disorder effectively.
Causes & Symptoms Of Restless Feet Syndrome
- The condition occurs due to an imbalance of dopamine, which transmits signals to control muscle movement.
- At times the condition is hereditary and runs in families, especially if it comes on before the age of 50 years.
- Pregnancy and hormonal changes is an important factor for restless feet or legs syndrome. Nonetheless, the symptoms tend to vanish after delivery.
Symptoms of restless feet syndrome
- There is a compelling urge to move the legs and feet constantly.
- The feeling begins after being at rest. It comes on after you have been lying down or sitting for a protracted period of time.
- The symptoms reduce with movement, such as –walking, stretching, or jiggling your legs.
- Symptoms occur chiefly at night.
- There will be twitching and kicking of the feet while you sleep.
- The sensation is described as an aching discomfort, itching, throbbing or crawling.
Natural Treatment For Restless Feet Syndrome
If you have an associated medical condition, the treatment concentrates on lifestyle alterations. Confer with your health care provider to understand whether there is an underlying disorder.
- In some case iron deficiency is a huge factor, and staring iron supplements helps.
- Medications which increase dopamine in the brain are prescribed. These drugs decrease movement in the legs and feet by influencing the level of dopamine.
- Drugs affecting calcium channels are known to work for some people having restless feet syndrome.
- Narcotic drugs allay mild to severe symptoms, however, these are addicting if used in high doses.
- Muscle relaxants and sleep medications help you sleep better at night; on the other hand, they do not eliminate the problem.
- It will take quite a few trials for your physician and you to discover the most suitable medication or combination of medications which work optimally for you.
- Soaking in a warm bath and massaging the legs and feet are very beneficial too; they help relax your muscles.
- Apply warm or cool packs or both alternatively; this will lessen the unpleasant sensations significantly.
- Try relaxation techniques, such as yoga, Pranayama, meditation or Tai Chi. Stress is known to aggravate restless feet syndrome. Learn to relax, more so, before bedtime.
- Set up healthy sleep hygiene. Tiredness worsens the symptoms of restless feet syndrome, thus it is important that you follow a healthy sleeping pattern. Have a cool, calm, comfortable sleeping environment; go to bed and rise at the same time everyday; and get sufficient sleep.
- Exercise also helps deal with the condition successfully. If you get moderate, regular exercise, 2 to 3 times a week, it may help reduce the symptoms; on the other hand, overdoing it can increase the symptoms.
- Avoid caffeine; it will help deal with the condition better. Also, try to steer clear of caffeine containing products – chocolate and caffeinated drinks, such as tea and soft drinks.