Physical Therapy and Restless Leg Syndrome
Restless legs is characterized by by a feeling of itching or crawling on the legs. This sensation makes the individual want to move the legs constantly, and he or she will bounce, jiggle or rub them. It can be frustrating for the person afflicted with the condition, as well as for the people around him or her. It can be particularly brutal at night when the individual wants to get some sleep, but is kept awake with restless legs. September 23 is dedicated to awareness of this condition, in the hopes that increased education can lead to relief and an eventual cure.
What Causes Restless Leg Syndrome?
Restless leg syndrome affects millions of people. Researchers have not been able to pinpoint a cause for this condition. There are some situations that can make it worse or could be linked to restless legs, including:
- Having parents who had restless legs
- Being deficient in iron
- Peripheral neuropathy
Can Home Remedies Help?
The most obvious remedy that people use to stop restless legs is getting up and moving. Leg movement can often only help for a very short period of time. Here are some alternative remedies for reducing symptoms:
- Hot or cold therapy: icing the legs, or taking a warm bath to relax the leg muscles before bed.
- Decreasing caffeine intake
- Decreasing alcohol intake
- Giving up smoking
- Taking a vitamin D supplement
- Regular exercise
- Deep breathing exercises
Can Physical Therapy Help Restless Legs?
Exercise is a huge component of any restless leg treatment program, and a trained physical therapist can play a major part in prescribing the right program for getting the joints moving. Gentle joint pressure, hot and cold therapy, and manual manipulation can also be used during the physical therapy session to provide long-lasting relief.
In addition, a physical therapist can teach individuals techniques and exercises that they can use at home to decrease symptoms on their own. Leg exercises in particular can help contract the problematic muscles and can re-oxygenate them with fresh blood. Ellipticals and rowing machines are popular choices for this reason. Physical therapy can also manipulate the pelvis and feet, to increase functionality throughout the entire area.
Professional Help for Restless Leg Syndrome
A physical therapist has a vital role in calming the symptoms of restless leg syndrome to help patients get relief. With regular treatments, individuals can regain good sleep patterns, feel more relaxed when they are at rest, and experience better quality of life overall. At New Heights Physical Therapy, we practice cutting edge and proven methods of relieving restless leg syndrome, and we would love to help you find some relief!
Restless Leg Syndrome in Portland OR and Vancouver WA
Seeing Patients in the following Portland and Vancouver areas: