Restless legs syndrome
Sleep pathology in adults
It is a common neurological disorder that affects between 5% and 10% of the population worldwide. It is characterized by an unpleasant sensation of discomfort in the legs during periods of rest and, generally, before the onset of sleep.
It is characteristic that this discomfort decreases or disappears with movement of the lower extremities.
It is very important to understand that “they are not ramps, nor pain, nor problems in the circulation” but a real sensation of “restlessness”. It is vital for patients to mobilize their legs in order to improve this unpleasant sensation. This disorder can become severe when it reaches an advanced stage, since the person cannot lie down to sleep, causing difficulties in initiating sleep.
- Tingling, itching or burning sensation in the legs.
- Urgent need to move the legs to relieve the uncomfortable sensation.
- Temporary relief sensation when moving the legs.
- Symptoms occur or worsen at rest, especially at night.
It is associated with sleep disorders, such as insomnia, and may be a contributing factor in sleep apnea and other sleep disorders. Although the exact cause of restless legs syndrome is still unclear, it is believed that it may be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
The diagnosis of restless legs syndrome is based on the patient’s presenting symptoms and medical history.
Symptoms can be treated with medications that act on neurotransmitters in the brain, as well as lifestyle changes, such as avoiding caffeine and alcohol, and regular exercise. If you suspect you may have restless legs syndrome, it is important to talk to your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.