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Restless Leg Syndrome  

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.

"Motor 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.

"Worsening 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 night."

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.
One 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 you too.