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Restless Legs Syndrome Treatments and Diagnostics

Reviewing the patient’s medical history is one of the most important step of the diagnostics:

  • You have a strong, almost overpowering desire to move your legs, which is frequently accompanied by unpleasant sensations.
  • When you’re resting, such as sitting or lying down, your symptoms begin or worsen.
  • Physical movement, such as walking or stretching, relieves your symptoms partially or briefly.
  • At night, your symptoms become more severe.
  • Symptoms aren’t exclusively due to another medical or behavioural problem.

A physical examination and a neurological examination might also be needed. Blood tests, especially for iron deficiency, may be conducted to rule out other reasons for their symptoms.

At times you might also need to see a sleep specialist. If another sleep condition, such as sleep apnea, is suspected, this may entail an overnight stay at a sleep clinic, where specialists can examine your sleep. A sleep study is usually not required for a diagnosis of Restless Legs Syndrome.


Restless Legs Syndrome symptoms can be considerably relieved by treating an underlying problem, such as iron insufficiency. Iron supplements can be either orally or intravenously to treat an iron deficit. Iron supplements, on the other hand, should only be taken under medical supervision and after your doctor has evaluated your blood iron level.

If you have Restless Legs Syndrome without a coexisting disease, your treatment will be focused on changing your lifestyle. If those don’t work, your doctor may recommend medication.

Before taking any type of treatment, it is important to know all about the disorder. We have a well-detailed online course on Restless Legs Syndrome. Enroll in today and get certified.


There are several prescription drugs available to relieve restlessness in your legs, the majority of which were intended to treat different ailments. These are some of them:

  • Certain medications can cause increased production of dopamine. The chemical messenger dopamine in your brain is affected by these drugs. 

The most common short-term side effects of these drugs include nausea, lightheadedness, and weariness. They can, however, lead to impulse control issues including excessive gambling and daytime sleepiness.

  • Calcium channel blockers can also be treatment for restless legs syndrome. For some persons with Restless Legs Syndrome, drugs such gabapentin (Neurontin, Gralise), gabapentin enacarbil (Horizant), and pregabalin (Lyrica) can help.
  • Narcotic drugs can help with mild to severe symptoms, but if taken in excessive dosages, they can become addictive. Tramadol (Ultram, ConZip), codeine, oxycodone (Oxycontin, Roxicodone, and others), and hydrocodone are among examples (Hysingla ER, Zohydro ER).
  • Muscle relaxants and sleep aids are both available. These treatments help you sleep better at night, but they don’t stop the leg tingling, and they can make you drowsy during the day. These drugs are often used only when no other therapeutic options are available.

You and your doctor may have to go through numerous trials to find the right medicine or combination of medications that works best for you.

Medicines should be used with caution

Dopamine drugs that have helped you with Restless Legs Syndrome for a while may stop working, or you may notice your symptoms returning earlier in the day or involve your arms. This is referred to as augmentation. To address the issue, your doctor may prescribe a different drug.

The majority cure for Restless Legs Syndrome medications aren’t safe to take when pregnant. Instead, your doctor could advise you to use self-care measures to alleviate your symptoms. Your doctor may authorise the use of certain medications if the symptoms are extremely uncomfortable during your last trimester.

Some drugs can make Restless Legs Syndrome symptoms worse. Some antidepressants, antipsychotic meds, anti-nausea medications, and cold and allergy medications are among them. If at all feasible, your doctor may advise you to avoid certain medications. Talk to your doctor about adding meds to assist manage your Restless Legs Syndrome if you need to take these medications.

Home remedies and a healthy lifestyle

Simple lifestyle adjustments can aid in the relief of Restless Legs Syndrome symptoms:

  • Baths and massages are good options. Relax your muscles by soaking in a warm bath and massage your legs.
  • Warm or cool packs can be used. Heat or cold, or alternating the two, can help to reduce limb feelings.
  • Establish proper sleeping habits. Because fatigue exacerbates the symptoms of RLS, it’s critical to maintain excellent sleep hygiene. Ideally, sleep in a cold, quiet, and comfortable setting; go to bed and wake up at the same time every day; and obtain at least seven hours of sleep every night.
  • Exercise. Moderate, regular activity can help relieve RLS symptoms, but overdoing it or exercising late in the day might exacerbate symptoms.

Getting ready for your appointment

Make an appointment with your doctor if you are experiencing symptoms of Restless Legs Syndrome . Following an initial evaluation, he or she may recommend you to a neurologist or a sleep specialist who specialises in nervous system disorders.

What you can do to help

  • Make a list of your symptoms, including when they first appeared and when they usually occur.
  • Make a list of important medical details, such as any other medical conditions you may have and any prescription or over-the-counter medications you’re taking, including vitamins and supplements. Also consider whether your family has a history of Restless Legs Syndrome.
  • Prepare the questions who would like to ask your doctor to know more about your disorder.

The clinical manifestation of Restless Legs Syndrome is defined in this course. It goes through the differences in symptoms, as well as the diagnostic hurdles and therapy alternatives that are needed for distinct patient populations. 

This course will describe the mechanisms that contribute to symptom enhancement, examine the accompanying impulse control issues that may be encountered with dopamine agonists, and explore other dopamine agonist-related comorbidities.

Sleep Medicine Institute has launched its first ever Restless Legs Syndrome online course. On completion of the course, you will receive a digital certificate. Register today and become a certified Restless Legs Syndrome practitioner.

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