Photo - 0 - Lifestyle Adjustments to Help You Cope with Restless Legs Syndrome

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is just what it sounds like. The condition, which is actually a sleep disorder, causes a compulsive urge to move your legs (or other parts of your body) when you try to sleep. And RLS can come along with other unpleasant physical sensations, such as itching, aching, burning, or the feeling that your skin is crawling.

Because RLS tends to be most severe when you’re in bed or sitting for extended periods, it becomes difficult to fall asleep, stay asleep, and feel refreshed in the morning.

At Texas Vascular Institute, interventional radiologist Dr. Dev Batra diagnoses and treats restless legs syndrome in his Dallas and Hurst, Texas, offices. He provides effective medical treatments so you can get a good night’s sleep. But he also wants you to know that you can make lifestyle adjustments to help you cope with RLS.

What causes restless legs syndrome (RLS)?

Genetics probably plays a significant role in causing RLS, as up to 92% of people who experience it have a first-degree relation who also has RLS. What’s more, those people with the link generally develop symptoms at a younger age than those without it.

Several medical conditions are also associated with RLS, including:

  • Anemia (low iron)
  • Kidney dysfunction
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Pregnancy

In addition, caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol can increase the risk of developing or worsening RLS, as can antidepressants, allergy drugs, and anti-nausea medications.

What’s even more interesting, though, is that many people with vein disease also develop restless legs syndrome. Fortunately, studies show RLS can be effectively treated with therapies designed for chronic venous insufficiency (CVI), a circulatory system condition that results in insufficient blood flow to the extremities. That may be because vein disease inflames the nerves, muscles, and other soft tissues in your legs, producing uncomfortable sensations.

That’s why, when you come into Texas Vascular Institute for an evaluation, Dr. Batra looks for signs of vein disease using vascular ultrasound to check for indications of CVI, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), or other vascular health problems.

Lifestyle adjustments to help you cope with restless legs syndrome

We always start with conservative, drug-free treatments, especially if your symptoms are mild. Try the following:

  • Get regular exercise, but avoid intense workouts within a few hours of going to bed
  • Practice good sleep habits: don’t read, watch TV, or be on your computer or phone while in bed
  • Avoid or limit caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol
  • Apply a heating pad or cold compress to your legs, or rub them to relieve discomfort
  • Soak in a warm tub
  • Consider acupressure, massage, and light stretching to ease symptoms
  • Take magnesium supplements
  • Reduce stress

If you have iron-deficient anemia, iron supplementation may also help.

Photo - 0 - Lifestyle Adjustments to Help You Cope with Restless Legs Syndrome

Vein-related treatment options

As we’ve already mentioned, treating underlying vein diseases, such as varicose veins or deep vein thrombosis, may have a positive effect on RLS symptoms. A National Sleep Foundation study found that 98% of patients who received treatment for vein issues also noticed a decrease in RLS symptoms.

At Texas Vascular Institute, some vein treatments we offer include:

  • Ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy
  • Compression stockings
  • ClosureFast™ thermal vein closure
  • VenaSeal™

If your legs won’t stay still despite your best efforts to fall asleep, there’s hope. Contact Texas Vascular Institute for a restless legs syndrome evaluation by calling us at 972-646-8346 or book online with us today.

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Texas Vascular Institute | Dallas, TX

3500 Oak Lawn Ave, #760
Dallas, TX 75219


For Appointments: 972-798-4710
General Inquiries: 972-646-8346

Set Appointment
Texas Vascular Institute | Hurst, TX

809 West Harwood Rd, Suite 101,
Hurst, TX 76054


For Appointments: 972-798-4710
General Inquiries: 972-646-8346

Set Appointment