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Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)


In this article we are going to discuss the restless legs syndrome (RLS), which is a neurological disorder characterized by unpleasant sensations (some patients describe them as painful) in legs that oblige you to move them with an involuntary impulse of moving and walking when you are resting. Symptoms can appear or get worse with rest or at night when the patient is in bed and, in an effort to alleviate these sensations, needs to move his legs or get up and walk (that is the reason why they are called “night walkers).

Up to 80% of patients also show involuntary movements of their legs during sleep and, a smaller percentage , manifests these type of movements during the waking hours as well, while sitting or lying down.


This syndrome is characterized by sensations such as jerks, itching, tingling, heat, pain, pricks, etcetera. In some cases, it is also described as a sensation of distress.

The diagnosis of the restless legs syndrome will be made under clinical control, as long as the following characteristics occur:

– The need to move the lower extremities (legs), that is usually accompanied by unpleasant sensations.

– Symptoms mainly appear when the person is at rest or relaxed.

– Discomforts are mitigated if you move the affected zone voluntarily, at least while moving it, such as walking.

– Symptoms get worse in the evening and at night, particularly when the person is resting.


The research in order to determine the causes of RLS hasn’t achieved any conclusive result yet.

They may have a hereditary factor. Researchers are currently studying the possible genetic causes, what is known as primary or family RLS.

In those cases where the RLS gets worse due to another disease, it is called secondary RLS.

During pregnancy, particularly in the last months, up to 20% of women suffer from the restless legs syndrome. In most cases it disappears after birth, although there is a clear relationship between the number of pregnancies and the possibility of developing chronic RLS.

Other diseases that may be associated with the RLS are anemia and low levels of iron in the blood as well as chronic diseases such as peripheral neuropathy and kidney failure.

When there is neither family history of RLS nor related underlying diseases that cause this condition, it is called idiopathic RLS, because there is no known cause for it.


If you suffer from these problems, we recommend you to visit a specialised centre in order to be examined properly. The specialist will determine the intensity of your symptoms and will evaluate the possibility of a treatment that controls your disease.

This syndrome is not dangerous, but it may affect your quality of life and disturb your sleep. There is one treatment in order to relieve the symptoms.

Some changes in your lifestyle can help you cope with this condition and alleviate the symptoms:

– Get enough sleep. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.

– Make sure that your bed and bedroom are comfortable.

– Try using hot or cold compresses on the legs.

– Help muscles to be relaxed with gentle stretchings, massages and hot baths.

– Spend time simply relaxing each day. Try yoga, meditation or other ways of alleviating tension.

– Avoid caffeine, alcohol and tobacco. They can aggravate symptoms.


In our Bosch clinical centre we will attend to you and make you a professional diagnosis.

Ask us for an appointment