How can it be treated?
There is no single cure or treatment. The treatment will differ from person to person. The following is a list of possible symptom relievers. Some of these you can first try out yourself. Otherwise, see your medical practitioner, who will give you advice on some of the alternative methods or will work out a treatment plan with you.
1. Eating, drinking and sleeping habits: If certain foods or alcohol and caffeine or wrong sleeping habits cause RLS symptoms, consider a lifestyle adjustment. Avoid food and drink that aggravate the symptoms. Cultivate healthy sleeping habits ─ this might not completely relieve your RLS symptoms, but it may relieve certain symptoms.
2. Illnesses and medication: Treatment for illnesses such as those above may relieve symptoms. If possible, try to avoid medication that cause RLS.
3. Iron and vitamin supplements. Ask your doctor to test for certain deficiencies and, if necessary, to prescribe the necessary supplements.
4. Exercise regularly. It has been found that moderate exercise such as aerobic exercises and low-resistance exercises for the lower part of the body can relieve symptoms (and also improve sleeping patterns). On the other hand, strenuous exercise can aggravate symptoms.
5. Yoga and stretch exercises. Although it is not certain how it works, experience has proved that they do relieve symptoms.
6. Massaging: Massaging of the leg muscles has been found to relieve symptoms, probably because it improves blood circulation. This can be done at home or by somebody who specialises in this.
7. Prescription medication: Certain medication can relieve symptoms, especially in the case of light or serious symptoms. Consult your doctor.
8. Warm and cold treatment. For some people a warm treatment works, for others a cold one. Take either a warm or cold bath at bedtime or, for instance, place a hot-water bottle or icepack on your legs when you go to bed.