When it’s Not Just Neuropathy That Keeps You Awake—or, What Is Restless Leg Syndrome?

RLS can occur alongside peripheral neuropathy, or in patients who suffer from spinal stenosis. Patients with degenerative disc disease may also have RLS-like symptoms.

Very commonly, peripheral neuropathy is associated with profound sleep disturbance. In fact, sometimes this is what alerts the patient and the physicians that something is seriously wrong.

Just like in peripheral neuropathy, RLS is not always confined to the feet.

Just like in peripheral neuropathy, RLS is not always confined to the feet.

Perhaps, you may have heard of RLS, or Restless Leg Syndrome. RLS is a condition that is very common, and just like peripheral neuropathy, is often associated with other disorders.

Most commonly, patients will feel the sensation of crampiness, or an urgent need to move their legs about. This occurs during or at the hour of sleep.

We do know that RLS can occur alongside peripheral neuropathy. Another place where RLS like symptoms occur in the clinic, is in patients who suffer from a condition called spinal stenosis. Likewise, patients with degenerative disc disease may also have RLS-like symptoms.

We do know that just like neuropathy, patients that suffer from kidney disease, diabetes, may be predisposed towards developing RLS. Patients who consume caffeine, or take calcium-channel blockers may also suffer from RLS.

Just like in peripheral neuropathy, RLS is not always confined to the feet.

People can experience RLS-like symptoms in the upper thighs, or even the arms. Often, it is only movement, such as walking around, that stops the symptoms.

Although medication provides relief for some, it is important to pay attention to the factors that cause or worsen RLS and peripheral neuropathy.

And one of the biggest things that aggravate both of these conditions is emotional stress and upset.

Here’s the kicker, sleep disturbance is the major negative health impact of RLS. You may also be aware that sleep disturbance is one of the surest ways to aggravate almost any underlying health condition.

Next time, I will talk about some of the things you can do to ensure a more restful nights sleep that will help better manage your RLS, as well as peripheral neuropathy.

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