Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a serious, but treatable condition. The key to living with RLS is managing the symptoms. Lifestyle changes, like limiting caffeine and alcohol, taking iron supplements or a hot bath, or initiating an exercise plan, and seeing a heath care professional to discuss treatment options can help. Everyone experiences RLS differently, so it is important to work with your health care professional to determine the best way for you to control your symptoms. A detailed list of some other lifestyle changes you and your health care professional may want to consider include:
- Checking to see if there is an underlying iron or vitamin deficiency and then possibly supplementing your diet with iron, vitamin B12 or folate.
- Looking at medications you may be taking which could make RLS symptoms worse. These may include drugs used to treat high blood pressure, heart conditions, nausea, colds, allergies, and depression.
- Looking at any herbal and over-the-counter medicines you may be taking to see if they could be worsening your RLS.
- Identifying habits and activities that worsen RLS symptoms.
- Looking at your diet to assure it is healthy and balanced.
- Eliminating or lessening your alcohol intake.
- Looking at various activities that may help you personally deal with RLS.
- These could include walking, stretching, taking a hot or cold bath, massage, acupressure, or relaxation techniques.
- Also keeping your mind engaged with activities like discussions, needlework or video games when you have to stay seated.
- Implementing a program of good sleep habits.
- Reducing or eliminating caffeine from your diet to aid in general sleep hygiene .
Foot Wrap Treatment For RLS
Using a specially designed foot wrap at night may help alleviate the symptoms of RLS. Before sleep, the wrap is placed on the foot and applies continuous pressure to targeted foot muscles. This device is thought to work by signaling the brain to relax the muscles of the leg and relieve the sensations of RLS.
Initial research found that patients who used the foot wrap reported a significant reduction in symptoms and lost significantly less sleep when using the device. This is