Tuesday, March 30, 2010

How Common is Restless Legs Syndrome?

A recent study investigated the prevalence of restless legs syndrome.

study involved patients from 312 primary-care practices in Germany. A total of 16,543 people participated.

Results show that leg problems were common. About 47 percent of people reported having “unpleasant sensations in the legs.”

Nearly 11 percent of participants were diagnosed with RLS. Fifty-three percent of these people had contacted their doctor in the past to discuss their leg problems. But only 20 percent had received the correct diagnosis of RLS.

Another common cause of unpleasant leg sensations was
osteoarthritis. Other causes were disc lesion, varicose veins and leg cramps.

RLS is classified as a sleep-related movement disorder. It involves an intense urge to move the legs. And it often involves other burning, prickly, itching or tingling sensations in the legs.

These symptoms begin or worsen during periods of rest or inactivity. And the sensations worsen or only occur in the evening or at night. Partial or total relief occurs by moving the legs, stretching or walking.

RLS can have a severe effect on your sleep. It may prevent you from falling asleep. It also may keep you from returning to sleep if you wake up during the night.

Read more about RLS. Learn about the genetics of RLS on SleepEducation.com.

Get help for RLS at an
AASM-accredited sleep center near you.

Image by jamelah e.

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