Restless Leg Syndrome – Causes, Symptoms, Treatments & Home Remedies

Restless leg syndrome also known as Willis-Ekbom disease and almost 10% Americans has been affected by this disease [1].

This disease causes uncontrollable urge to move your leg by creating unpleasant sensation in leg like pulling, throbbing and creeping. As name suggest all these symptoms predominantly occurs during night.

Even in era of modern medicine, we yet to find any curative treatment for this disorder and one can only seek symptomatic treatment to relieve the suffering.

Sometime this syndrome is caused by certain medications like anti-allergic, anti-depressant and over-the-counter sleep pills. In such case one can easily switch to other medications by consulting your doctor.

If you are unaware of what kind of symptom this disease produce then please refer to the following points. This help to understand the condition and you will also able to talk with your doctor.

Causes –

Till date, doctors not able to find the pin-point cause of this disease but it is believed that genetics plays some role. [2]

Chronic disease like diabetes with peripheral neuropathy, low level of iron element in blood, pregnancy and parkinson’s disease. When iron level in blood reduces it causes problem in communication with brain cells that can triggers restless leg syndrome.

Pregnancy – It is observed that many women get symptoms of restless leg syndrome during pregnancy which get relieved within a month after delivery of baby.

Long lasting diabetes can also be cause of restless leg syndrome. Long standing diabetes usually causes peripheral neuropathy and hardening of blood vessels. This triggers RLS.

Medicines – Few medicines are found to be a cause of RLS. Anti-histamine, anti-depressant and over-the-counter sleep pills might triggers RLS in some individuals. If you suspects that you got RLS after starting certain medication then immediately consult your physician and ask if any changes in medicine needs to be done or not.

Never stop medicine without consulting your physician.

Symptoms –

RLS can be found in mild or very aggressive form.

People who got affected with mild RLS can able to tolerate the symptoms but if RLS is intolerable then it negatively affects your lifestyle.

As discussed above, symptoms get aggravated during night and most of time disturb the sleep of sufferer.

As per NSF, restless leg syndrome have a bunch of dominant symptoms like –

– Intolerable desire to move legs when you are in bed or siting calmly.

– Some unpleasant sensation in legs that can be described as pulling, itching, creepy-crawly and throbbing.

– Ir-resistible urge to move leg when you sit still, which get relieved by moving your leg.

– Continuous leg movements that wake up yourself or your life partner.

– Continuous involuntary movements of legs when you are awake.

– Difficulty in concentration.

It is worthy to note that symptoms can be seen during day time but always get worse at night time.


Though RLS does not have any curative treatment yet, it can be treated with certain medicines and change in lifestyle. Consult your physician, he will manage your RLS, treat any underlying cause of syndrome and will advice you lifestyle changes. Reducing amount of alcohol and caffeine can help.

In case of iron deficiency, your physician will start iron supplement and will ask you to eat iron reach foods like liver, oyster and chickpeas etc.

If you are on certain medication, then ask your doctor to review it. If medication is the cause of RLS then he can switch them to another pills.

Taking deep tissue massage for leg and hot water bath cab also helps.

Home Remedies

Irish Spring Soap Trick 

Keeping a bar of an unwrapped Irish spring soap beneath the sheets can help some people to reduce leg cramps during night.

Just do a quick web search and you will find that many people claim that this old wive’s tale do work.

Scientific reason behind this cure is yet to be identified, but as per Dr. Oz the smell of lavender might be helpful to relax the muscles of leg.

Applying Heat

As per the Best Health Mag, application of heat to the cramped muscles helps to increase blood flow which further lead to muscle relaxation. [3]

Apply hot water bag or an electric heating pad to the area of cramped muscles. You can also take hot water bath or can also keep your foot in the warm water for 15 to 20 minutes before going to bed.


Sometime cramps in leg muscles may cause restlessness.

To relieve these cramps, stretching of leg muscles is an effective therapy.  To stretch your muscles, sit of the floor keeping your leg extended and pull upper part of foot toward head.


It is difficult to avoid restless leg syndrome as the cause is unknown. However we can take some precaution to avoid its severity & to get relief

1. Stop binge drinking. Reducing alcohol intake can reduce RLS.

2. Quit smoking. Like diabetes, smoking also causes pathological changes in arteries that can trigger RLS.

3. Reduce stress and bring positive changes in lifestyle. Be happy and stress free.

Featured image Via – Remedy Daily

References +

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