Restless Leg Syndrome Causes

Have you been told that you shake your legs too much? Have you noticed that your legs, and perhaps even hands, are always restless and moving? Are these movements often accompanied by an itching or throbbing sensation in your legs? If so, it’s possible that you may be suffering from a rare condition known as Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS). There are a number of different causes that can trigger restless leg syndrome, such as a dopamine deficiency, chronic venous insufficiency, anemia, pregnancy, and even certain medications. Basically, restless legs syndrome is often a symptomatic condition so it’s necessary to find out what the root cause is before treating it. In this article, we discuss what is restless legs syndrome, causes of restless legs syndrome, and how to treat movement disorder.

What is Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)?

Restless legs syndrome (RLS), also known as Willis-Ekbom disease, is pretty self-explanatory. Basically, this is a condition in which your legs get extremely restless and you have an urgent and uncontrollable need to move them constantly. Most people get restless legs occasionally to certain degrees, but restless legs syndrome is a condition when you can’t control it and it seeps into other aspects of your life, affecting your sleep patterns as well. In most cases, the sense of restlessness may also spread to other parts of your body and cause restlessness in your hands and arms as well.

Causes of Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)

As mentioned previously, most people suffer from restless legs to some extent and at some points. But if you have restless legs all the time, then it’s likely that it’s caused by certain underlying conditions or diseases. The only way to treat restless leg disorder is to find out what the root cause is, and then address it directly. The following are some of the leading causes of restless legs syndrome.

Dopamine Deficiency

This is perhaps one of the leading causes of restless leg syndrome. The part of our brain responsible for muscle control is known as basal ganglia. However, in order to control the muscles effectively, it needs dopamine. If your body doesn’t have enough dopamine — for a number of reasons — the basal ganglia can’t effectively control your muscles. This leads to developing RLS.

Chronic Venous Insufficiency

Chronic venous insufficiency is a circulatory disorder and it’s one of the most dangerous causes of restless legs syndrome. This is a condition in which the vein valves that ensure proper blood circulation to the heart get diseased. When that happens, blood flows back down and pools in the leg veins, which leads to the accumulation of blood in your legs. This triggers a number of other conditions and symptoms, including heavy legs and restless legs syndrome. If your restless legs get worse by the end of the day or after long periods of sitting or standing still, then it’s very likely that it’s caused by chronic venous insufficiency. That’s because the symptoms of vein disease always get worse when more blood has accumulated in your legs. This disease is pretty serious, and, if left untreated, can also lead to serious conditions like varicose veins, leg ulcers, and deep vein thrombosis.

Chronic Disease

Restless legs syndrome is a common symptom of various chronic conditions and diseases. Some of the possible chronic causes of RLS include chronic kidney failure, hypothyroidism, Parkinson’s Disease, diabetes, amongst many others.

Anemia

Anemia is a condition in which your body suffers from iron deficiency. And iron deficiency is directly related to dopamine deficiency as well. And as we’ve already discussed, dopamine deficiency prevents the basal ganglia from functioning properly, which can lead to restless legs syndrome.

Pregnancy

Pregnancy induces a number of changes in your body, especially in the final trimester. It’s almost inevitable that you’ll suffer from restless legs syndrome during your final trimester of pregnancy. But this is nothing to worry about — the symptoms will probably recede soon after giving birth.

Medications that can Cause Restless Leg Syndrome

Restless leg syndrome can also be heightened or caused by several medications such as antidopaminergic medications, tricyclic antidepressants, serotonin-norepinepherine reuptake inhibitors, lithium, diphenhydramine, amongst others.

How to Treat Movement Disorder?

The only way to treat movement disorder completely is through procedures that directly address the underlying disease or condition. Without addressing the root cause of your movement disorder, the most you can do is manage the symptoms temporarily.

Treat Movement Disorder Caused by Chronic Venous Insufficiency

If your doctor discovers that your restless legs syndrome is caused by chronic venous insufficiency, then you can treat it using minimally invasive procedures like radiofrequency ablation, laser ablation, and venaseal. During these procedures, the vein doctor will use various methods (such as thermal energy, laser energy, or vein glue) to seal or collapse the diseased vein that’s causing restless legs. Once that’s done, your legs will calm down naturally over time.

Managing the Symptoms

The following tips can help you manage your restless legs syndrome temporarily:

  • Don’t consume caffeine, tobacco, or alcohol.
  • Engage in physical activities that work your calf muscles like running, swimming, and cycling.
  • Sleep and eat at regular times.
  • Massage your restless legs.
  • Keep your legs warm or take a hot shower.
  • Meditate.
  • Stretch your leg muscles in the morning.
  • Place hot or cold compressors over the restless legs to still them.

Consult a Spider Vein and Varicose Vein Treatment Center

Restless legs syndrome may seem like a harmless condition but it’s usually indicative of several serious underlying conditions, one of them being chronic venous insufficiency. At Vein Treatment Clinic Houston, our board-certified and Ivy League-educated vein doctors thoroughly examine your symptoms in order to diagnose the root cause of your restless legs. Based on that, we curate a minimally invasive treatment plan to give you relief. For more information, please consult a spider vein and varicose vein treatment center in your area.

Summary

Restless legs syndrome (RLS), also known as Willis-Ekbom disease, is a condition in which your legs get extremely restless and you have an urgent and uncontrollable need to move them constantly. Most people suffer from restless legs to some extent and at some points. But if you have restless legs all the time, then it’s likely that it’s caused by certain underlying conditions or diseases. The most common causes of restless legs syndrome are dopamine deficiency, chronic venous insufficiency, chronic diseases, anemia, pregnancy, and certain medications. The only way to treat movement disorder completely is through procedures that directly address the underlying disease or condition. Without address the root cause of your movement disorder, the most you can do is manage the symptoms temporarily. If your doctor discovers that your restless legs syndrome is caused by chronic venous insufficiency, then you can treat it using minimally invasive procedures like radiofrequency ablation, laser ablation, and venaseal. You can also temporarily manage the symptoms by massaging your legs, taking a hot shower, keeping your legs warm, meditating, and stretching your leg muscles. At Vein Treatment Clinic Houston, our board-certified and Ivy League-educated vein doctors thoroughly examine your symptoms in order to diagnose the root cause of your restless legs. Based on that, we curate a minimally invasive treatment plan to give you relief. For more information, please consult a spider vein and varicose vein treatment center in your area.