SOMETIMES CALLED Willis-Ekbom Disease, RLS, or Restless Leg Syndrome is a condition that affects 10% of people in the US today. Anyone can get it, but it’s more common and more severe for women as well as middle-aged people across the country. Those with a family history of the condition are 40% more likely to develop symptoms. RLS symptoms can include itching, throbbing, aching, and painful pins and needles feelings that can make falling asleep after a long day, traveling, and just going about day-to-day life a struggle.
What Triggers Restless Leg Syndrome?
It's important to note that anyone can get RLS, no matter their age or how healthy their lifestyle is. Alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine have all shown the tendency to cause jitters and an elevated heart rate which are both common triggers for Restless Leg Syndrome. So if you’re someone who's suffering from RLS, think twice before going back for that second cup of coffee.
While there is no direct cause for Restless Leg Syndrome, it has also been tied to many of the same conditions that are known to restrict blood flow. Sitting in cramped space for long periods of time, like in the cabin of an airplane or at your desk, for example, can cause symptoms to appear. Conditions like insomnia and sleep apnea have been connected with RLS not only because they also diminish sleep, but because they can affect your heart and circulatory system to cause Restless Leg Syndrome as well as other tics and jitters.
Chronic diseases and pregnancy can also be major causes of Restless Leg Syndrome. Genetic and long-term conditions such as iron-deficiency and anemia are very common in women as is pregnancy and preeclampsia. These all directly affect the body’s ability to pump and create blood effectively, which is thought to be why women are more prone to RLS. Other conditions that have been shown to cause this disease are diabetes, Kidney Disease, Kidney Failure, and Peripheral Neuropathy.
The Effects of Restless Leg Syndrome
The strongest, and most well-known symptom of Restless Leg Syndrome, is an unbearable urge to move your legs, which is most noticeable when lying down or sitting still. Other symptoms include intense leg discomfort in the forms of pain, pins and needles, throbbing, itchiness, and the feeling of your skin pulling or crawling. Because severe RLS makes you feel the need to constantly move your legs, it can also make travel and everyday activities such as watching a movie or sitting through a meal a struggle.
The worst part about RLS is that it is known for greatly disrupting one’s sleep schedule, making it hard to fall and stay asleep. Severe cases of RLS can cause daytime fatigue, daily restlessness, and can even affect your overall mental health. The sleep deprivation that results from this condition can cause irritability, making people less patient and more prone to aggression. RLS can also put a lot of stress on romantic relationships, as constant tossing and turning at bedtime can affect your partner’s sleep as well.
Finding Relief with Compression Socks
Compression therapy is a great and easy way to combat symptoms and, in some cases, avoid triggering RLS in the first place. The gentle, gradual pressure that compression socks create on your legs is great for relieving feelings of discomfort and promoting healthy circulation throughout your legs. Consistent use of compression socks can also strengthen your heart in the long-term by lowering the stress your body goes through to pump blood consistently as well.
Many have found relief from RLS symptoms at night by wearing compression socks to bed. When deciding the best times for wearing your medical-grade compression socks, be sure to consult your doctor.
Using compression therapy along with making healthy lifestyle choices, you can better manage symptoms. Specialists recommend staying hydrated, getting in a good amount of exercise, and eating foods rich in magnesium and iron to better manage symptoms. Additionally, try to stay away from sugary or caffeinated drinks, and limit alcohol consumption whenever possible.
Restless Leg Syndrome Doesn’t Have to Rule Your Life
Restless Leg Syndrome is a serious condition that affects day-to-day life. It can cause sleep deprivation, painful daily interruptions, and even put a strain on your relationships. But with the help of targeted compression therapy and the right compression socks, it can be manageable and easily treated.
Lasso’s medical compression socks provide targeted, gradual compression to manage symptoms of RLS comfortably and with the utmost care. Our socks are made within the 15-25mmHg compression range to guarantee safe prolonged use, making them perfect to wear to bed or during the day for fast symptom relief.Get your pair of Lasso medical compression socks!