Primary Restless Leg Syndrome

Restless Leg Syndrome is a sleep-related or neurologic disorder in which you have an irresistible need to move your legs around all the time. The restlessness always originates in your legs but it can move all the way up to different parts of your body and you may also lose control of your other body parts and limbs. Symptoms of restless legs often get worse at night or after long periods of inactivity, but they can be minimized by stretching, running, rocking, etc. Primary Restless Leg Syndrome is the type of condition in which your restless legs are the primary condition and not caused by an underlying issue. In this case, the exact cause of restless legs may be unknown or may be related to genetics. In this article, we discuss the symptoms of primary restless leg syndrome and how to treat RLS.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Restless Leg Syndrome?

The signs and symptoms of restless leg syndrome can manifest at any age, even in childhood. In most cases, this condition gets worse over time so you need to get it treated sooner rather than later. The following are some of the most prominent signs and symptoms of restless leg syndrome.

  • Deeply uncomfortable sensations in the legs known as paresthesias or dysesthesias. This leads to leg heaviness, leg cramps, itching, burning, and a prickling feeling.
  • Difficulty in sleeping because the symptoms get worse due to inactivity, thus keeping you awake at night.
  • The intense need to get off the bed and walk around or perform other activities. This also leads to sleeplessness because you can’t get enough sleep.
  • Periodic involuntary leg movements such as bending the ankles, extending the toes, or bending the knees and hips. These periodic movements may occur several times in an hour.
  • Frequent rapid muscle jerks in different parts of the body.

What are the Main Causes of Restless Legs at Night?

Restless legs at night may occur as the primary root cause in itself or it may occur as a by-product of another disease. The following are the Primary and Secondary causes of Restless Leg Syndrome.

Primary Restless Leg Syndrome

Primary Restless Leg Syndrome is the one in which you suffer from restless legs because of unknown or idiopathic reasons. In most cases, primary RLS happens because of family history, which may be linked to your genetic inheritance. In this case, a single copy of the disease gene may be received from either your mother or father and it may display the dominant trait, which results in your restless leg syndrome. The risk of passing on the disease gene is around 50%.

Secondary Restless Leg Syndrome

Secondary Restless Leg Syndrome is the one in which your restless legs are simply symptomatic of another deeper condition or disease. The following are some of the most popular and common root causes of secondary restless leg syndrome.

  • Dopamine Deficiency: The muscle activities in our body are controlled by a part of the brain called the basal ganglia, which relies on dopamine to function correctly. As such, if there’s dopamine deficiency in your body, the basal ganglia can’t function and you lose control of your legs.
  • Anemia: This condition leads to iron deficiency, which directly contributes to dopamine deficiency, which, in turn, leads to restless legs because your basal ganglia can’t function as it should.
  • Pregnancy: A lot of physiological changes occur in your body during pregnancy that makes restless legs inevitable. This is especially true for the third trimester. However, restless legs during pregnancy are nothing to be alarmed about and it will likely go away after birth. However, if the restless legs persist even months after the birth, you may be suffering from another underlying condition.
  • Chronic Venous Insufficiency: This is a progressive vein disease in which the valves in the veins malfunction and blood accumulates in the lower leg veins. The accumulation of blood in the leg veins leads to restless legs. This is one of the most common causes of secondary restless leg syndrome.
  • Chronic Disease: Beside vein disease, other chronic diseases like kidney failure, Parkinson’s Disease, diabetes, and fibromyalgia can also cause restless legs to varying degrees.

Is Restless Leg Syndrome Curable?

As mentioned above, restless leg syndrome may be caused by a number of underlying diseases or it may also just happen because of genetics. Restless legs are curable in some cases and not in others. In order to determine if your restless legs can be treated, you have to figure out what’s the root cause of your restless leg syndrome. The RLS diagnosis comprises a wide range of clinical tests and evaluation of your medical and familial history. Based on that, the doctor determines what’s the root cause of your restless leg syndrome and how to go about treating it. For example, if your restless leg syndrome is caused by chronic venous insufficiency, the vein doctor may prescribe minimally invasive treatments such as radiofrequency ablation, venaseal, and endovenous laser ablation. These are all simple procedures that cause little pain and discomfort and conclude within an hour. Furthermore, they treat the root cause of restless legs so you no longer experience the outwards symptoms either. Your doctor may also recommend that you incorporate certain lifestyle changes like stretching regularly, giving up on coffee or alcohol, and possibly consuming drugs such as dopamine agonists and supplements.

Where to Treat RLS?

Vein Treatment Clinic Houston is one of the best place to treat RLS, especially if it’s caused by underlying vein disease. Our board-certified vein doctors will thoroughly examine your symptoms and diagnose the underlying vein disease using a Doppler Ultrasound device. Based on their findings, they may recommend vein treatments like radiofrequency ablation, laser ablation, and venaseal. If you want to treat RLS immediately, please schedule an appointment right now.