Man with running shoes on suffering from calf pain.
Medical

Relief from Restless Legs

Restless Legs, also known as Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS), is a condition that causes discomfort and an irresistible urge to move your legs. It can occur during periods of rest, such as when sitting or lying down. Additionally, it can significantly impact your sleep quality. Symptoms range from a tingling, crawling, or itching sensation in the legs. In this article, we delve deeper into restless legs, explaining how to recognize the condition, what causes it, and what you can do about it. We also provide a more extensive exploration of how compression socks can help alleviate the symptoms.

How to recognize restless legs?

Symptoms include heavy, tired legs, and cramps in the calves. Restless legs typically occur after prolonged periods of sitting or during rest periods, such as when falling asleep.

Different forms of restless legs

There are roughly two forms of restless legs. The first is genetically determined and involves an abnormality in dopamine regulation. About 80% of people with RLS have this genetic form, while the remaining 20% can attribute their condition to various causes.

Are restless legs dangerous?

Restless legs, in themselves, are not dangerous in the sense that they have more severe consequences than the discomfort they cause.

Where do restless legs come from?

Restless legs can have various causes, and unfortunately, the exact cause is still unknown to date. There is a connection with reduced blood circulation in the legs, but genetic factors and certain lifestyles can also play a role. Below, we describe the most common causes of RLS.

Causes of restless legs

  • Medications: Some medications, especially those for psychoses and depressions, can cause RLS.
  • Pregnancy: Iron deficiency during pregnancy can cause RLS.
  • Suboptimal kidney function: Kidney damage can lead to the accumulation of waste products, resulting in itching and tingling in the legs.
  • Diabetes: Nerve damage in diabetes can cause RLS.
  • Hypersensitivity: Individuals with High Sensitivity (HSP) may have a more sensitive nervous system, leading to RLS.
  • Menopause: Fluctuating hormones and iron deficiency during menopause can cause restless legs.
  • Other causes: Correlations have been found with thyroid problems, Parkinson's, and varicose veins, but the exact influence is (still) unclear.

What can you do for restless legs?

Here is a list of things you can do to alleviate the symptoms of restless legs:

  • Lifestyle adjustments can help, such as reducing coffee and alcohol intake.
  • Regular exercise.
  • Wearing compression socks.
  • Avoiding prolonged standing or sitting.
  • Creating a consistent sleep routine.
  • Taking foot baths.
  • Placing a bar of soap in bed.
  • Avoiding lifting heavy objects.
  • Wearing comfortable shoes.
  • Maintaining a healthy diet.
  • Consuming sufficient magnesium.
  • Massage therapy.
  • Masturbation.
  • Using certain medications.

Medicinal solutions for restless legs

Clonazepam, Gabapentin, and Dopamine agonists are mentioned as medications that can alleviate symptoms. It is crucial to consult with a (family) doctor first.

Relief with compression socks

The degressive pressure exerted by our compression socks from the ankle to the knee stimulates blood circulation, accelerates the removal of waste products, and improves the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the legs. This process contributes to preventing and reducing the discomfort associated with restless legs, allowing you to go through your day (and night) without complaints.