Getting enough sleep is a vital part of any healthy routine. But if you’re experiencing uncomfortable tingling, burning, and an irresistible urge to move your legs, sleep can feel nearly impossible.

Restless Leg Syndrome, or RLS, is just how it sounds: a neurological disorder that causes unpleasant sensations in the legs and the urge to keep moving them. It’s estimated that one in ten American adults are affected by restless legs, making it one of the most common sleep disorders in general.

Here are 6 surprising facts about restless leg syndrome, curated by the experts at Atlanta Medical Clinic:

6) It Can Be Linked to Iron Deficiency

The correlation between low iron and restless legs has been studied extensively. Research has found that those suffering from restless legs have lower-than-normal iron levels. If you’re experiencing restless leg symptoms, it can be helpful to have your iron checked and take an oral supplement. Even those with normal levels sometimes respond well to iron supplements to alleviate symptoms. 

5) Pregnancy Increases Your Risk

Almost a third of pregnant women experience restless leg syndrome, and symptoms are most likely to appear during the last three months of pregnancy. Although the exact cause is unclear, scientists believe it’s linked to lower folate and iron levels, as mentioned above. 

4) Your Veins May Be to Blame

For many patients, physicians have found underlying vein issues to blame for restless legs. Luckily, in a recent study, 98% of patients affected found relief after treating their veins with non-surgical vein therapy. At Atlanta Medical Clinic, we offer two vein therapy treatments: ClariVein®IC and Sclerotherapy. We have used these treatment protocols to help our patients get relief from the pain and discomfort of restless legs.

3) Gentle Exercise Can Help

Exercise is beneficial for everyone, though, an exercise routine can especially aid those suffering from restless legs. It’s important to note that there should be a balanced approach: excessive, intense exercise and being a couch potato will both make symptoms worse. Instead, opt for a moderate plan incorporating stretching and cardio. Yoga, cycling and swimming are all good options to try.

2) Genetics Play a Factor

Restless legs is a syndrome that often runs in families, with 40 to 90 percent of those with the disorder claiming at least one close relative. The early-onset version (before age 45) more often tends to be genetic rather than late-onset (symptoms after age 45). 

1) Nerve Damage Can Lead to RLS

Peripheral neuropathy, a nervous system disease, can contribute to the development of restless leg syndrome. The condition is usually developed from damage to nerves caused by an injury, infection, illness or diabetes. We specialize in treating neuropathy with several treatments available at Atlanta Medical Clinic. Treating the root of the cause – nerve damage – can significantly reduce the pain and sensations from restless legs.

Imagine going to bed and slipping into a peaceful sleep, waking up refreshed and ready to take on the day – it’s possible! At Atlanta Medical Clinic, we believe nobody should be suffering from burning, itching and tingling legs. We have several customizable solutions to treat the cause of your restless legs, instead of masking the sensation with pills. Contact us to receive your free consultation.