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Overview of Restless Leg Syndrome

Restless Leg Syndrome

What is restless leg syndrome?

Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is a medical disorder characterized by the urge to move the legs due to feelings of discomfort, particularly at night. Patients commonly describe these feelings as pulling, tugging, burning, bubbling, creeping and itching sensations that won’t go away unless the person moves or gets up and walks around. The condition occurs most often in middle-age and older adults but can begin in children and adolescents, particularly if a parent has been diagnosed with the disorder.

RLS often worsens during sleep causing the patient to involuntarily flex and move their legs while sleeping. This condition is called periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD). Untreated, RLS can lead to anxiety, depression and chronic fatigue.

There is no cure for RLS and though bothersome, it is not considered to be a serious medical disorder.


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