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Restless Leg Syndrome - Treatment and Self Help
Do you have leg pain, cramps, tingling, itching, and aching?A breakthrough treatment is now being trialled at The Haven Healing Centre - come and try for yourself!
What is Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)?
Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) is a strange condition where you may experience unpleasant sensations in the muscles and the legs, during which you will find you have a desperate need to move them. Restless leg syndrome may at some time affect around 10% of the population. More than 5 million people in the UK are affected by the condition at any one time.
This seems to come about mostly when you are resting and is relieved by moving your legs around. It is worse at night, and following periods of inactivity. Restless leg can also be made worse by travelling long distances in a car or plane, sitting for long periods, at work or at the cinema, or theatre, or when imobilized, such as during the plaster period of a leg break.
The range of sensations due to restless leg syndrome can vary from a mild ache, to itching and tingling, up to very unpleasant sensations like weird electrical sensations in your legs, or like something creeping and crawling under the skin, a desperate burning in the muscles, or even pain. It's not unusual for people to have great difficulty describing their sensations or what is happening to them. But there is no doubt, restless leg syndrome can be very unpleasant.
It affects both men and women, and gets worse with age, so at its worst, more retired people refer themselves to their GP, than younger people. Restless leg is characterized by an inability to sleep properly. Sleep deprivation is a serious problem and can lead to accidents, lack of concentration at work or school, and health problems can result from the lack of nerve energy in the body, brought on by insomnia. The onset of other long term, or chronic diseases can be speeded up, or intensified, by lack of sleep.
The cause of restless leg syndrome is not entirely known, but research suggests it is linked to a problem in the brain with the neuro-transmitter dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical released by the brain which is given to patients with diseases such as Parkinson's disease, to increase the amount of dopamine available to the body. Dopamine sends messages around the body that regulates muscle activity and it may be an imbalance here that then goes on to cause the sensation in the legs. Another cause may be iron deficiency anaemia - low levels of haemoglobin in the blood. Kidney and liver degeneration may also be a secondary cause, as well as peripheral neuropathy.
Who is most likely to suffer?
Pregnant women, people with chronic kidney disease, and people with anaemia. There is also a greater likelihood of developing symptoms of restless leg syndrome if you have Parkinsan's disease, although, restless leg syndrome doesn't lead onto any other major diseases. But it does perhaps suggest a neurological problem.
Many medications cause restless leg syndrome. Not intentionally, you understand, but as a side-effect. Some anti-deperssants, anti-coagulants and beta blockers are big contributors to restless leg. Alcohol, cigarettes and other drugs can also be a contributing factor, mainly (I think) because they upset the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood. Restless leg syndrome does have a recurring nature, but for most people it thankfully remains mild, and episodes can be well spaced apart, which gives you time to recover between attacks. As symptoms increase, visit your GP.
What can I do about my restless leg syndrome?
The normal advice is don't drink caffeine before bedtime, keep your bedroom cool and your bed comfortable, and remember to take your ropinirole (Adartel), pramipexole (Mirapexin) or your rotigotine. There's got to be a better way than this!
If it's true that around 10% of the population at any one time have symptoms of restless leg syndrome, then it's not a problem with our design or make up, but something we are doing collectively that our bodies are objecting too. Of that I feel certain. You are less likely to suffer with restless leg if you exercise regularly during the day. What does that tell us? People who exercise regularly, have better circulation, more oxygen in their system, increased nerve energy, a cleaner 'inner terrain' in the gut, blood, lymph, and an efficient circulation of bodily fluids.
One of the ways sufferers can help themselves is to tire out the muscles before going to bed. A brisk walk around the block, or marching on the spot. One exercise I often recommend is standing on tiptoes and stretch the calves. Hold the stretched position for 10-15 seconds and slowly lower your heels to the ground. Do this until your legs feel quite tired. This should tire them out enough for you to go to sleep. But why does this work? You're doing more than just wearing them out.
During the day your muscles build up a degree of acidity and toxicity that needs to be flushed for the muscle to be healthy. Now if you go to bed or rest, that acidity pools in the muscles and so they contract and squirm like a slug near salt. The blood can't get in there to flush the muscle and cleanse it, so the muscles become anaerobic and oxygen deficient. What does the body do when it is desperate for oxygen, it screams in pain! When you do your tippy toes, you contract the muscle further, thus completing the partial contraction of acidity, and detriggering the muscle which can now relax. A relaxed muscle sucks in blood, oxygen and nutrients, repairing damaged tissue and flushing out any waste. The physical movement, transports the lymph further along the lymph channels so the fluid can be cleansed. Repeating the tip toe exercise sets up a chain reaction of cleansing and flushing of the muscles and nerve channels.
What will coming to you for treatment do for my restless leg syndrome?
Well, I'll basically be working to get the legs to do the previous exercise with some efficiency and frequency, but also using massage and manual lymphatic drainage to improve the texture and condition of the sub-tissue of the legs.
What can a combination of Lymph Drainage Massage and normal Massage do to help me?
This is my own theory. Lymph drainage massage and massage stimulates the circulation and removal of toxicity in the body. People who suffer restless leg syndrome can often ease their discomfort but only by engaging in constant movement. When you stop moving the symptoms return, which is why the answer is not just exercise.
When you stop moving, your circulation naturally slows down, and the oxygen in your limbs can be quickly used up. Remember, haemoglobin is the iron containing pigment of the red blood cells, the bit that carries oxygen from your lungs to your tissues. As you exercise, toxicity builds up in your muscles in the form of metabolic waste material and this forms the lymph. The body is designed for movement, which eliminates the waste and drives the lymph, and the oxygen keeps the body healthy.
When the muscles don't get enough oxygen and the signals they are sending and receiving are being misinterpreted because of nerve dysfunction or impingement, then of course they are going to scream in pain and display unpleasant sensations. What causes nerve impingement? It's not just the position of the body, or a mis-alignment of the skeleton, or pressure points, but chemicals in the body (in particular, chemical poisoning) upset the chemical balance and the electrical balance of the body.
The body sends messages through the spine and a series of nerves. This is an electrical system in the body. When the body becomes mis-aligned it puts pressure on the nervous system causing natural nerve information and energy to become disrupted, or to stop flowing altogether. That nerve energy must go somewhere and ground, or cause movement somewhere in the body. The body is designed to maintain itself through motion. Your body instinctively knows this, which is why, when you have restless leg syndrome, your instinct is to move. If we aren't moving, we aren't moving muscles to cleanse the body by lymph flow, so there is no strong life force and energy is low.
Not using the body in the way it was designed, means we are generally sluggish in the evening before bedtime. The body tries to compensate by not placing too much demand on the muscles. The muscles become clogged, lack oxygen and increase toxicity, waiting for you to get up in the morning and move around. But it can't wait that long. So they complain - LOUDLY! Give yourself the cleansing power of lymph drainage and massage.
To learn more about Manual Lymph Drainage, click here.
My message to you is simple. Don't lie there at night, in pain and torment, waiting for the inevitable pacing around the room, just to get enough oxygen into your muscles; pick up the phone and make an appointment, and give this a try for one month. Just see for yourself what results you can achieve, just by having the courage to say 'I'm willing to give it go'. What are the alternatives? Your doctor will write you a prescription and tell you to throw tablets at it. Remember these can only MASK the pain, they don't do anything to fix the problem. Everyone else, including your partner, is at a loss as to what to suggest or do with you. Restless Leg Syndrome is a PHYSICAL problem. Allow your instinct to lead you toward a physical solution.. The increased circulation and relaxation afforded by Lymph Drainage and Massage, will help with the stress and tightness that builds up as soon as you stop moving, which will help to reduce the pain. If this idea resonates with you, I invite you to visit The Haven Healing Centre in Blagdon for a course of treatment. Appointments and a treatment price list are available by clicking here. I look forward to welcoming you soon. Phil.
One last thought: Some people say, 'I always thought restless leg syndrome was incurable!'
People, including doctors, who say this, are totally irresponsible, because it takes away any hope. Just look online, there are lots of people who have cured their own restless leg syndrome. But at the same time, they can't have it both ways; If you don't know what causes restless leg syndrome, how can you say it's not curable? Never give up looking for a solution just because someone else has closed their mind!
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Note: DISCLAIMER: This information is not presented by a medical practitioner and is for educational and informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read.
It's a small investment in yourself, but could be a life-changing experience you will cherish forever.
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