Researchers suspect the condition may be caused by an imbalance of the brain chemical dopamine, which sends messages to control muscle movement. People with RLS usually don’t describe the condition as a muscle cramp or numbness. They do, however, consistently describe the desire to move the legs. Simple self-care steps and lifestyle changes may help relieve symptoms.

However, this was a small, retrospective study of hypertensive individuals who agreed to a sleep study. There were many potential confounders, and cause-and-effect could not be demonstrated. Remember, if you or someone you know is experiencing RLS symptoms, it is always recommended to consult with a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and personalized treatment plan.

  1. That might mean pacing the floor or tossing and turning in bed.
  2. Individuals living with the movement disorder Parkinson’s disease have an increased risk of developing RLS.
  3. If this part of your brain doesn’t get enough dopamine, it isn’t able to regulate your movement as efficiently as it should.
  4. Two notable theories are the dopamine and iron imbalance theories.
  5. The relationship between alcohol consumption patterns and RLS is an important consideration for those seeking to manage their symptoms.

It is often accompanied by uncomfortable sensations in the legs, such as tingling, itching, or a crawling sensation. These sensations are typically worse during periods of rest or inactivity, leading to a strong urge to move the legs to find relief. Your healthcare provider will treat any underlying disorder you have that affects RLS. Some cases have been alcohol rehab: when andwhy you need rehab for alcohol addiction linked with nerve damage in the legs from diabetes, kidney problems, iron deficiency, certain medicines, pregnancy, sleep disorders, and alcoholism. Some people with RLS never seek medical attention because they worry they won’t be taken seriously. But RLS can interfere with your sleep and cause daytime drowsiness and affect your quality of life.


Acupuncture can be helpful in the treatment of many health conditions, and RLS might be one of them. Another showed that people treated with twelve 30-minute treatments of NIRS over four weeks also had significantly reduced symptoms of RLS. Symptoms were improved up to four weeks after treatment ended (39). To help delay or prevent both of these problems, your doctor may prescribe a combination of dopaminergic drugs with other types of drugs to treat RLS (1). The author of that study suggested that the increased release of dopamine caused by massage could be a reason for the benefits.

In some cases, usually when other medications aren’t helpful or cause augmentation, opioids can be used carefully in low doses to help treat RLS (26, 8). Other types of drugs can also help relieve RLS symptoms without causing these same types of problems. Although there’s not a lot of other research that backs up massage as an RLS treatment, a 2007 case study illustrated its benefits. Given its benefits for reducing RLS symptoms and improving sleep, regular exercise is a good habit to develop for people with RLS. A simple blood test can check for iron deficiency, so if you think this could be a problem for you, talk to your doctor.

When that’s the case, treating the main condition may resolve RLS issues. RLS causes unpleasant sensations in the legs, along with a powerful urge to move them. For most people, that urge is more intense when you’re relaxed or trying to sleep. Understanding the basics of Restless Leg Syndrome sets the foundation for exploring the relationship between alcohol consumption and the exacerbation of RLS symptoms. Pregnancy or hormonal changes may temporarily worsen RLS signs and symptoms. Some women get RLS for the first time during pregnancy, especially during their last trimester.

There’s not a lot of research available on the Relaxis pad, and it hasn’t been shown to actually relieve RLS symptoms. In the hospital, a pneumatic compression device (PCD) is typically used to improve circulation and prevent blood clots. Improved circulation might also be the reason pneumatic compression has been shown to help relieve RLS symptoms (33). As with all opioids, use of these drugs should be carefully overseen by a doctor, due to their risk of misuse and dependence.

Treating restless legs syndrome

These programs can offer comprehensive support and resources to help individuals manage their addiction and improve their overall well-being. However, alcohol also affects other neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and opioids, which are involved in the regulation of movement and sensations. The disruption of these neurotransmitter systems can contribute to the development of restless leg syndrome symptoms.

While you’re at it, get all of your supplements on your medical record, even if products are natural and don’t need a prescription. That way, your records are up to date and your doctor can watch out for any side effects. “People who have RLS 15 of the best sobriety podcasts to listen to in recovery function best with the same amount of activity daily,” Asher says. Doing a lot more or less than that might worsen your RLS symptoms. With your doctor, go over all the medications you take, including even those that don’t need a prescription.

Home Remedies for Restless Legs Syndrome

RLS is much more prevalent in hypertensive individuals than in the general population. This study showed a significant, potentially dose-dependent, association of RLS and PLMS with resistant hypertension, suggesting that the impact of RLS and PLMS on sleep might drive hypertension. This hypothesis would fit with other sleep disorders, such as obstructive sleep apnoea, being risk factors for hypertension, although the pathophysiology remains poorly understood.

It may relate to how the part of your brain that causes movement (basal ganglia) functions. The basal ganglia use dopamine to regulate how your body moves. If this part of your brain doesn’t get enough dopamine, it isn’t able to regulate your movement as efficiently sober living homes oxford houses as it should. Between 7% and 10% of the United States population has restless legs syndrome. It’s more common among white people and people assigned female at birth (AFAB). You may hear your healthcare provider call RLS restless leg syndrome or Willis-Ekbom disease.

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Your healthcare provider will consider your age, overall health, and other factors when advising treatment for you. Your healthcare provider can diagnose RLS based on your signs and symptoms, a complete medical history, and a physical exam. In addition, tests, such as lab tests or a sleep study, may be done.

By optimizing nutrient levels, you can support the body’s innate healing capacities and restore balance in the system. For example, iron supplementation has shown significant improvements in RLS symptoms, even in patients with normal serum iron levels but low ferritin levels. The charity Restless Leg Syndrome UK (RLS-UK) provides information and support for people affected by restless legs syndrome. Some people have the symptoms of restless legs syndrome occasionally, while others have them every day.

Other treatments have less evidence, but may still work for some people with RLS. One theory posits that RLS is caused by low oxygen levels in the affected area. It’s thought that the increased circulation caused by NIRS increases that oxygen level, helping to relieve the RLS symptoms (33). The idea behind the pad is that the vibrations provide “counterstimulation.” That is, they override the uncomfortable sensations caused by RLS so you feel the vibrations instead of your symptoms (33). If you’ve ever stayed overnight in the hospital, you may have had pneumatic compression. This treatment uses a “sleeve” that goes over your leg and inflates and deflates, gently squeezing and releasing your limb.

Causes of Restless Legs Syndrome

These recommendations are highly advised for women who suffer from restless leg syndrome during pregnancy since the body needs an excess of nutrition during this time. It is worth noting that medical treatments for RLS are available and may be recommended for individuals with severe or persistent symptoms. These treatments can include medications that help regulate neurotransmitters or supplements to address potential deficiencies. A healthcare professional can provide guidance on the most suitable treatment options based on an individual’s specific needs. To manage RLS symptoms post-alcohol consumption, lifestyle changes and self-care strategies can be implemented.


In addition, most receptors that are supposed to receive dopamine are not receiving it at all. This trigger causes aches and confusion in the nervous system. Usually, doctors will prescribe dopamine stimulating drugs for people struggling with restless legs. There’s also a link between restless legs syndrome and pregnancy. About 1 in 5 pregnant women will experience symptoms in the last 3 months of their pregnancy, although it’s not clear exactly why this is. In severe cases, restless legs syndrome can be very distressing and disrupt a person’s daily activities.