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Restless Leg Syndrome Overview

Restless Leg Syndrome Overview

Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) is a neurological disorder characterized by an uncontrollable urge to move the legs, often accompanied by uncomfortable sensations such as tingling, burning, or aching. It’s important to note that RLS itself cannot be cured; however, it’s crucial to differentiate it from other conditions that may share similar symptoms such as chronic venous insufficiency.

Progression & Prognosis:

Restless legs syndrome is a chronic condition that worsens over time if left untreated. While it is not life-threatening, it can significantly impact quality of life by disrupting sleep and causing daytime fatigue. With appropriate treatment, symptoms can often be managed effectively, allowing patients to experience relief and improved sleep.

calf pain from restless leg syndrome

Risk Factors & Underlying Conditions

  • Genetics: RLS tends to run in families, suggesting a genetic component to the disorder.
  • Iron deficiency: Low iron levels in the brain may contribute to the development of RLS.
  • Chronic diseases: Certain medical conditions, such as kidney failure, diabetes, and peripheral neuropathy may increase the risk of RLS. Patients with advanced venous disease can have symptoms that mimic RLS.
  • Medications: Some medications, including certain antidepressants, antipsychotics, and antihistamines, may worsen symptoms of RLS.
  • Pregnancy: RLS symptoms may occur or worsen during pregnancy, particularly in the third trimester.


  • Urge to move legs
  • Sensations such as crawling, tingling or burning
  • General discomfort in the legs
  • Difficulty falling or staying asleep
  • Restlessness or fidgeting while sitting/lying down

Specialized clinics like VIC Vein Clinic offer comprehensive care and expertise for the most effective management of restless legs syndrome.

Contact us today. No referral needed.

Treatments for Restless Leg Syndrome

Lifestyle Changes

Regular exercise, maintaining a regular sleep schedule, and avoiding caffeine and alcohol close to bedtime may help reduce symptoms of RLS.

Chronic Venous Insufficiency Disguised as RLS

If you are experiencing common symptoms of Restless Leg Syndrome such as an irresistible urge to move,  burning, tingling, or other common characteristics, an ultrasound to ensure that you are not suffering from venous insufficiency that is mimicking RLS is advised. If the ultrasound is positive for venous insufficiency, procedures such as Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) and Varithena can be used to treat the veins.

Other Treatments Include

  • Medication
  • Iron supplements
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Compression therapy
  • Relaxation techniques


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