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What is the treatment for restless leg syndrome?

Treatment of restless leg syndrome is first directed toward any underlying illness, if known. For example:

  • Blood testing to reveal underlying iron deficiency anemia may reveal the underlying cause.
  • If varicose veins are thought to be the cause, then surgery to repair the circulation may be considered.
  • Reduction or elimination ofcaffeine, nicotine, and alcohol from a person's diet can be very helpful.
  • Stopping smoking can significantly diminish or prevent symptoms.
  • Getting better sleep and exercise can help some persons affected by restless legs.
  • Pregnant women who do not sleep well at night and other people with sleep disorders may develop RLS.
Return to Restless Leg Syndrome

See what others are saying

Comment from: LAC G Canada, Male (Patient) Published: February 01

After suffering from restless leg syndrome (RLS) on and off for 52 years and getting worse over the past year to the point of being unbearable, (I`m now 83 years old), I`ve discovered that magnesium oil spray on my legs and Vick`s VapoRub on my feet has allowed me to get 4 to 6 hours uninterrupted sleep for the past 5 nights. Too early to tell if this will continue but it`s been nothing short of a miracle and a great relief. Hope this helps other sufferers of this dreadful RLS.

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Comment from: Nantuka, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: October 07

I so hope that one of these days someone will be able to find a cure for restless leg syndrome (RLS). I am 76 years and have had RLS since I can remember. I have noticed as I age it keeps getting worse and RLS really robs all of us of a good night's sleep day after day. Growing up I had scarlet fever and then rheumatic fever at age 5 and 6 years old. I have fibromyalgia, borderline diabetes, leaking veins in both legs, surgeries, so on and so on. When I cannot stand the restlessness anymore I use my prescription lidocaine patch 5 percent by QualiTest (only) and place a patch at the bottom of each foot with my diabetic socks on to keep the patch on. I also am on oxycodone and Requip. When my feet start to feel so cold it is not much later the restlessness starts up. I hope this helps someone like it has helped me.

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Comment from: Vivianne, 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: April 05

I have had restless leg syndrome for years and the only thing that has ever help me stop it when it starts is to wash my legs with a cold water face cloth. It seem to change the body temperature and then I fall asleep instantly thereafter and sleep all night long. It works well. Best of luck.

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