A Restless Night's Sleep

Restless Leg Syndrome 

Restless NightIf you experience a creeping or itching feeling in your legs, or an urge to move them while sitting or lying in bed, you may suffer from restless leg syndrome (RLS). Experienced by as many as one in 10 people in the United States, RLS is a sleep disorder which causes unpleasant sensations often described as crawling, tingling, or pulling. Sensations typically occur in the calf, but may be felt anywhere from the thigh to the ankle. This can keep people from falling asleep at night which may result in feeling tired during the day.

Although the cause of RLS is still unknown, some cases are believed to be inherited, while others have been linked with nerve damage in the legs due to diabetes, kidney problems, or overuse of caffeine or alcohol. Your doctor may prescribe medications to reduce your symptoms and help you sleep better. There are also steps you can take to temporarily reduce discomfort such as:

  • Walking or stretching
  • Rubbing your legs
  • Having a massage
  • Taking a hot or cold bath
  • Doing activities that make muscles in your hands or legs work
  • Relaxing with yoga or meditation

Patients who suffer from varicose veins or similar vein diseases may also experience symptoms of RLS.

“Patients with RLS may respond to one type of treatment and not another so it’s important to consult with a physician who can help determine the underlying cause of the condition,” said general surgeon, Glen Hastings, MD, FACS. “In my experience treating patients with varicose veins over the past 12 years, those who have nocturnal restless legs associated with the other common varicose vein symptoms tend to see improvement in their restless legs symptoms after treating the varicose veins.”

The team at Lakeland General Surgery, St. Joseph has years of experience treating varicose veins. There are a number of minimally invasive treatment options to consider, depending on your symptoms. They are safe, virtually painless and most patients can get back to normal activities almost immediately.

Possible forms of treatment include:

  • Compression Therapy
  • Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT)
  • Sclerotherapy
  • Surgery

To schedule a consultation or obtain additional information, call (269) 983-3368 or visit www.lakelandhealth.org/veins

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