Do You Have Restless Legs?

restless legsRestless Leg Syndrome (RLS) is a problem that affects as much as 15 percent of the US population. If you have RLS, you may experience a strong urge to move your legs. Other symptoms include a “creeping” feeling in your legs, persistent leg movement while sleeping, or tingling, burning, aching, or numbness of the legs. The symptoms of RLS are worse at night or during periods of relaxation, such as lying down during the day, and tend to improve with activity. The symptoms disrupt the sleep not only of the RLS sufferer but can disrupt the sleep of their bed partner as well, affecting the quality of life of both persons.

RLS is usually treated with a neurologic medication. Unfortunately the medications that are available can only improve the symptoms. They do not cure the condition and must be taken long term.

An often-overlooked cause of RLS is venous insufficiency (cause of varicose veins). Studies indicate that as many as 22 percent of those with RLS also have venous insufficiency. In venous insufficiency the blood valves do not work properly and allow some blood to flow backwards and pool in the legs, which can result in a number of symptoms, including restlessness and edema, or swelling. The swelling tends to lessen at night and that is believed to cause somehow the “creeping” sensation described by patients. When restless legs occur with venous insufficiency, the RLS can be improved significantly by treatment. A study published in the Journal of Phlebology reported that in patients with both RLS and venous disease, 98 percent had their RLS symptoms relieved with varicose vein treatment, and 80 percent of those treated experienced long-term relief.

Anyone who suffers from the symptoms of Restless Leg Syndrome should be evaluated to rule out venous disease as a possible underlying cause of RLS.

Call The Vein Specialists at 309-862-4000 to schedule a consultation with one of our physicians or request an appointment online at www.ILveins.com. We have convenient locations in Bloomington, Peru, Springfield, and Streator.