Restless Leg Syndrome

San Francisco Neurology and Sleep Center

Sleep Lab located in Chinatown, San Francisco, CA

Restless leg syndrome is a potentially serious neurological condition that makes you feel like you have to move your legs. It can disrupt daily life and even interfere with sleep. At San Francisco Neurology and Sleep Center in Chinatown, San Francisco, Joy Meng, MD, offers comprehensive care for restless leg syndrome. To find relief, make an appointment by calling the clinic today.

Restless Leg Syndrome Q & A

What is restless leg syndrome?

Restless leg syndrome is characterized by the intense urge to move your legs. People with restless leg syndrome describe feeling an unpleasant sensation that makes them feel like they have to move their legs. Moving your legs may temporarily satisfy the urge, but it typically returns quickly. 

The cause of restless leg syndrome isn’t known. It can be a hereditary condition, which means if someone in your family has it, you’re more likely to have it. Some other risk factors include peripheral neuropathy, iron deficiency, and kidney failure.

Restless leg syndrome can happen at any time of day, but it’s most common in the evening or at night. It can make sleeping difficult because the symptoms are often strong while you’re sitting or lying down. Also called Willis-Ekbom disease, restless leg syndrome can negatively impact your daily life. 

What are the symptoms of restless leg syndrome?

Restless leg syndrome is a sensation inside the limb that feels like creeping, crawling, aching, itching, or like pins and needles. Different people describe the sensation differently, but it typically does not feel like muscle cramping or numbness. 

The sensation is often strongest at night, and people with restless leg syndrome may experience nighttime leg twitching. Symptoms can be worse after long periods of rest, like after long car rides or sitting for long periods of time at work. 

Restless leg syndrome can come and go, disappearing for a period of time and then returning.

What treatment options are available for restless leg syndrome?

Restless leg syndrome diagnosis usually includes a discussion with the doctor about your symptoms and medical history. You may have a physical exam, a neurological exam, and sleep study to confirm your diagnosis. 

If your restless leg syndrome is caused by some other condition, such as an iron deficiency, treating that condition can help ease restless leg syndrome symptoms. Lifestyle changes, such as regular exercise and establishing a healthy sleep routine, can help treat restless leg syndrome as well. 

Medications can also treat restless leg syndrome. Muscle relaxants, sleeping pills, or other medications can help lessen the urge to move your legs and give you better quality sleep. Never use medications to treat restless leg syndrome without the approval and guidance of your medical team.

Restless leg syndrome doesn’t have to interfere with your quality of life. For effective diagnosis and treatment options, make an appointment at San Francisco Neurology and Sleep Center, Inc. by phone or online today.