How I took care of my
Restless Leg Syndrome.
Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a neurological
disorder characterized by an irresistible urge to move one's body to
stop uncomfortable or odd sensations. It most commonly affects the
legs, but can affect the arms, torso, and even phantom limbs. Moving
the affected body part modulates the sensations, providing temporary
relief. RLS symptoms vary according to the person. It is an urge to
move, usually due to uncomfortable sensations that occur primarily in
the legs, but occasionally in the arms or elsewhere.
The sensations are unusual and unlike other
common sensations. Those with RLS have a hard time describing them,
using words like: uncomfortable, 'antsy', electrical, creeping, painful,
itching, pins and needles, pulling, creepy-crawly, ants inside the legs
and numbness. It is sometimes described similar to a limb 'falling
asleep'. The sensation and the urge can occur in any body part; the most
cited location is legs, followed by arms. Some people have little or no
sensation, yet still have a strong urge to move.
restlessness, expressed as activity, which relieves the urge to move."
Movement usually brings immediate relief, although temporary and
partial. Walking is most common; however, stretching, yoga, biking, or
other physical activity may relieve the symptoms. Continuous, fast
up-and-down movements of the leg, and/or rapidly moving the legs toward
then away from each other, may keep sensations at bay without having to
walk. Specific movements may be unique to each person.
of symptoms by relaxation."
Sitting or lying down (reading, plane
ride, watching TV) can trigger the sensations and urge to move. Severity
depends on the severity of the personís RLS, the degree of restfulness,
duration of the inactivity, etc.
"Variability over the course of
the day-night cycle, with symptoms worse in the evening and early in the
Some experience RLS only at bedtime, while others
experience it throughout the day and night. Most sufferers experience
the worst symptoms in the evening and the least in the morning.
For me personally, I feel energy moving through my legs on a rhythmic
basis, by which my legs have to twitch and jerk to release this
uncomfortable feeling. It usually starts about ten minutes after having
gone to bed. I had it since I was about twelve; I am in my 50's now. I have
dealt with it by getting out of bed, walk around etc., or finally
falling asleep. What has helped to a certain degree is stretching my
back, or using a foot roller, although it relieves it only for a short
amount a time, usually about ten to twenty minutes. What works a lot
better is taking melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that the body
produces in the pineal gland, and makes you fall asleep, aside from
influencing other bodily functions. I have noticed that melatonin works
for RLS, because it makes your body relax, the RLS disappears and then
you fall asleep. I rarely take Valium for other reasons, and I have
noticed that Valium also makes RLS disappears. In the medical
establishment there is now a general agreement that RLS starts in a
certain area of the brain. Why, nobody knows. It seems that there is an
over active pulse going out from this brain area to the legs.
evening I was lying in bed, and my RLS started up. As I was was in a
kind of in-between state, between waking and sleeping, I was watching
the energy pulses through my legs, and the way my legs were twitching,
or jerking. And suddenly a flash of recognition came through. The way my
legs were jerking, is the same as when you pick a baby up under the
arms. The baby gets an instinctive reaction, it is hard wired in the
physical body. The physical body of the baby suddenly finds itself
dangling in the air, it has lost contact with the earth. The physical
body has an inborn need to have contact with the earth at all times.
This gives it a sense of stability, security, safety. The dangling baby
automatically tries to feel the ground, that is not there, and when you
look at the jerking legs of a dangling baby it is the same as what I
experience during RLS symptoms. A lot of parents don't know that when
you pick up a baby you have to provide its feet with support. The very
same thing happens with animals when you pick them up underneath their
front legs. Their hind legs will frantically try to feel the ground. It
is my opinion that so many people who were picked up like this while
being a baby, have this panic ingrained in their brains. When they go to
bed, their feet are not touching the ground anymore, and the brain start
to run that panic program again.
I started to use an extra pillow at
the lower end of the bed, and put my feet firmly against that pillow, so
the body was feeling that it was standing on something, and ... the
twitching stopped. I have been using this technique now for several
months and it works every time. I still feel some energy still running
through my legs, but my legs are not twitching anymore, and after a
couple of minutes even the energy stops.
Simple, isn't it? It is
worth a try! It will not cost you anything, and maybe it will work for