Restless Leg Syndrome is a very difficult condition to pin down. But if a treatment is not yet official, solutions exist.
- Restless legs syndrome more often affects women. It usually appears in adulthood and, in rare cases, in children or adolescents.
- Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a chronic disorder characterized by an urge (urgent and irresistible) to move the legs, associated with unpleasant sensations in the lower extremities occurring at rest.
Also called Willis-Ekbom disease, the restless leg syndrome (RSJ) is a chronic disorder characterized by an urge to move the legs. It is manifested in particular by the appearance of tingling in the lower limbs, tingling, burning sensations, even muscle contractions or small electric shocks. So many unpleasant sensations called “impatience”.
This disease should not be confused with heavy legs syndrome, which is characterized by venous insufficiency, the symptoms of which are relieved by lying down.
8.5% of French people concerned
Paradoxically, this phenomenon of restless legs generally occurs during moments of relaxation or inactivity. For example, flying can become a complicated mission, or even just sitting or resting. Not to mention its impact on the quality of sleep of patients. No less than 8.5% of French people are affected by RLS, and around 2% show symptoms several times a week, according to health insurance. Of those with RLS, 79% had insomnia, 32.5% had depressive symptoms and 28% had suicidal ideation, compared to 8.3%, 5.5% and 9.5% respectively in the control group not reached, according to an Inserm study.
If we do not yet know the exact reasons, two elements seem to play a role in the development of this disease. On the one hand, the patients present with an insufficiency of iron in the body, with or without anemia (abnormally low level of hemoglobin). On the other hand, victims of this syndrome often have a deficit of dopamine in certain regions of the brain and spinal cord.
Case by case
Medications can relieve symptoms of restless legs, such as painkillers or, in some cases, an iron or folic acid supplement, but to date, no curative treatment has yet been developed.
If the impatience is said to be “moderate” or even “light”, self-massage, stretching or alternating hot and cold on the muscles can however relieve the pain. Solutions which, unfortunately, are not sufficient for so-called “severe” or “very severe” cases.
To prevent this syndrome, it is essential to follow a good diet, practice regular physical activity and adopt healthy lifestyle habits.