Moderate restless leg syndrome

What is Moderate Restless Leg Syndrome?

Moderate Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) is a neurological condition characterized by a constant urge to move the legs caused by an uncomfortable or painful sensation in the legs. It is a chronic condition that affects up to 10% of adults in the United States, according to the American Academy of Neurology.

People with moderate RLS will usually experience these symptoms over a period of several months or more. Symptoms are often worse at night, occurring as often as once or twice per hour while awake. They may also occur during the day, but this is less common.

Symptoms of Moderate RLS

The symptoms of moderate RLS vary from person to person. They usually start in one leg before progressing to both legs over time. Common symptoms include:

  • An irresistible urge to move the legs, usually accompanied by an uncomfortable or twitchy sensation
  • Discomfort or pain in the legs, which can range from mild to severe
  • Problems sleeping or staying asleep
  • Daytime fatigue or sleepiness due to lack of restful sleep

Causes and Risk Factors of Moderate RLS

The exact cause of moderate RLS is unknown, but it is believed to be related to an imbalance in brain chemicals or an abnormality in the body’s flow of iron. People who are more likely to have moderate RLS include:

  • Those older than age 45
  • Pregnant women, particularly in their third trimester
  • People with pre-existing health conditions, such as diabetes, kidney disease, and arthritis
  • People taking certain medications, such as anti-depressants and anti-nausea medications

Treating Moderate RLS

There is no cure for moderate RLS, but treatment can help reduce symptoms and improve quality of life. Treatment usually begins with lifestyle changes and medications, such as anti-seizure medications, opioids, and dopamine agonists.

In addition, some behavior therapies may help, such as leg massage, hot and cold compresses, regular exercise, and relaxation techniques. For people with severe RLS, intravenous iron therapy may be recommended.