The tingly sensations that come with restless leg syndrome can render you sleepless. With sleepless nights comes fatigue. Although there is no known cure for this condition, it is possible to manage its symptoms using various home remedies for restless leg syndrome. This post discusses natural, herbal, and homeopathic remedies. Also discussed are various lifestyle changes to help manage the symptoms.
Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a neurological disorder characterized by throbbing, pulling, creeping, or other unpleasant sensations in the legs and an uncontrollable, and sometimes overwhelming, urge to move them.[Source: nih.gov]. Studies show that 10 percent of adults in the United States are affected by RLS. This condition varies in severity of sensations and could be uncomfortable, irritating, and at times painful.
Where it is not as a result of any other ailment, it is possible to make use of home remedies for restless leg syndrome to treat and get rid of the symptoms of RLS. We delve into these and how to get the best out of them below.
Warm and Cold Packs for RLS Relief
The application of cool and warm packs to the muscles helps a great way in relieving restless leg syndrome. These should be alternated to ease the pain. Soaking the legs in a warm bath or massaging the lower legs could also help. These should be done just before going to bed.
Exercising and relaxing helps to release tension in the body. The exercises should be moderate as overdoing and doing it late in the day could have adverse effects.
Doing leg stretches or taking a walk will do great for your overall health as well as the restless leg syndrome. This is because it helps to release stress and muscle tension which are triggers for the condition.
Relaxing through practices such as yoga and meditation will also go a long way in helping minimize the situation.
Sleep Hygiene for RLS while Pregnant
When one has restless leg syndrome, it interferes with their regular sleeping patterns. It causes fatigue as well.
To break this cycle of sleep deprivation and calm RLS, try and adopt a favorable sleep environment.
Also, practice good sleep hygiene. Go to bed at the same time every night and awake at the same time each day. Do something relaxing such as reading a book or taking a warm bath at night before bed time.
Get rid of electronics, digital clocks, and anything else that could cause distraction from sleep. It has also been found that a lot of people with restless legs syndrome suffer cold feet.
Sleeping in socks in such cases can help get rid of the condition. For persons experiencing RLS while pregnant, try sleeping on the side and see if this helps.
There is some medication available in drugstores which could help in treating restless leg syndrome. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs will help to relieve pain. Find out what side effects they may have before taking them.
Some medications may work on some people and fail in others. While using these, it is also important to be cautious as some cold medications could also cause restless legs.
Check with your primary care provider if any drugs you are taking could be the cause of your restless leg syndrome. If they do ask for a replacement with non-stimulant drugs.
Some changes in the food we take could help to relieve the symptoms of the syndrome. The condition could be caused by a deficiency in folic acid, vitamin B, iron, and magnesium.
This makes vitamins and minerals an important component in the meals of people experiencing restless leg syndrome.
You can talk to your doctor to put you on dietary supplements to ensure that you avoid reactions with other medicines and avoid taking too much.
The necessary nutrients can also be attained from food. Drink mineral water that is high on magnesium.
To bump up the intake of folic acid, include beans, orange juice, and leafy green vegetables in your diet. Iron can be gotten from wheat germ, liver, kidney beans, lean beef, and green vegetables.
This is an anticonvulsant drug that is used by epileptic people to treat seizures. Used in an extended-release form, the drug will be effective in treating RLS.
It helps to lower abnormal excitement in the brain and relief the symptoms. This drug though comes with possible side effects such as headache, fatigue, weight gain, and nausea.
Since RLS is common while pregnant, ask your doctor about the safety of products before taking any supplements or drugs.
Abstaining from Causes
To treat this condition, one could try to make considerations on quitting some things that may be contributing towards the syndrome. If you have the condition, avoid sitting in the same position for long durations.
Also avoid drinks and foods containing caffeine such as chocolate, soft drinks, tea, and coffee. Other things to avoid include alcoholic beverages and tobacco. These things are known to trigger the symptoms of RLS. Abstaining from them will help avoid the syndrome.
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation Unit
This unit is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. It can be obtained with a recommendation from a medical professional. They are battery operated and produce a signal with a high voltage with low current. Within certain frequencies. This current is then applied to the skin through electrode pads.
The electrical pulses are what is used to treat the pain. The relief is quite quick when one is using them.
Menthol Creams and Ointments
Another way on how to help RLS at home is with the use of menthol products. Vics Vapor Rub, Tiger Balm, and IcyHot cream are some of the creams that can help relieve RLS. Rub generous amounts of these on the legs before going to bed. This should relieve the symptoms immediately and allow for better sleep
Soap for RLS Relief in Toddlers
Soap is known to help relieve the symptoms of RLS. Place a bar of soap underneath the sheet where the legs rest while asleep.
In case you don’t like the bumpy feel of a bar of soap, you can make use of the last bits of soap from the bathroom.
Another way of ensuring maximum relief is achieved is by wearing socks with a piece of soap in them while going to bed. This is more so in toddlers to ensure the soap sticks around on the legs. You could also rub wet soap and sleep with it on the affected area.
Natural Remedies for Restless Leg Syndrome
Although there are no known cures for restless leg syndrome, there are some natural remedies that will help to decrease symptoms, improve sleep, and keep the condition in control. Below we discuss the various natural remedies for restless leg syndrome.
Water Therapy for RLS from Withdrawal
Water can be used to help relax muscles in the legs. While taking a shower before going to bed, point the hot shower nozzle at your legs in the specific part where the syndrome is most prevalent.
Switching the water temperatures could also help a great deal. Consumption of adequate water also goes a long way in helping get rid of the symptoms.
A high intake of water leads to the promotion of frequent urination. This way the body gets rid of toxins from the blood.
Taking water is especially effective for persons suffering from opiate withdrawal-induced restless leg syndrome and will help reduce the intensity of its symptoms.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Although apple cider vinegar is acidic in nature, it is listed as an alkaline due to how it is metabolized in the body. It helps to balance the body’s pH levels, enhances absorption of nutrients, and can be used to treat RLS.
- Get a glass of lukewarm water and add to it a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar.
- Sip this slowly about 30 minutes before going to bed each day until the symptoms get better.
- Another method to use this would be to rub the vinegar on your legs. This can be done just before going to sleep.
Black Strap Molasses
Molasses is rich in iron. The iron is an integral hemoglobin component and plays a great role in the enhancement of transport of oxygen to the body cells. This helps in treatment of various symptoms. Molasses also has potassium and calcium. This remedy is available in natural food stores as well as in health stores..
- Add a tablespoon of molasses into a cup of water
- Take the remedy at least 30 minutes before getting into bed each day.
- Molasses can also be taken with apple cider vinegar in a cup of water
Epsom Salt with Magnesium for RLS Treatment
This when used in a bath before going to bed can help you get better sleep. It contains high amounts of magnesium sulfate. This helps to calm your nerves and soothe any sore muscles.
- In your warm bath water, add a cup of Epsom salt and stir thoroughly until it is all dissolved.
- Soak in the bath for half an hour before going to bed each day.
Tonic Water for RLS at Night
This is a carbonated soft drink that contains quinine. Although quinine can have negative effects, the amount found in each ounce of tonic water is safe for use. The compound helps to relieve and treat naturally the symptoms of restless leg syndrome by relaxing the muscles.
- Take quarter a cup of tonic water each night before going to bed
- Ensure that it is sipped slowly to give time for the body to absorb quinine.
This is known to have antispasmodic and therapeutic properties that help to relieve inflammation as well as reduce the symptoms of RLS.
- Rub some camphor oil gently n your legs before going to sleep.
- This should take away the tingly sensation within minutes.
- Camphor cream can also work in the same way.
Coconut or Mustard oil
These oils are said to be effective home remedies for restless leg syndrome. Coconut oil works by improving blood circulation and relaxing your nerves. This way you can sleep soundly without the symptoms bothering you.
- Warm a reasonable amount of the oil.
- Rub this on your legs massaging it in circular motions starting from the ankles upwards.
- Repeat the procedure each day to relax muscles.
- Consuming plain mustard oil also helps in getting rid of the condition. Take a teaspoon of it each day.
This oil acts as a relaxant and can thus be used as an RLS natural treatment. It has a great scent which helps to calm the nerves for better sleep.
- Rub some few drops of lavender oil on the bottom foot of each leg. Before going to bed.
- You could also add a few drops of the oil into warm bathwater. Soak your feet in the water for about 10 minutes each night before retiring.
Homeopathic Remedies for Restless Leg Syndrome
In case you are into homeopathic treatments, what do you take for restless leg syndrome? Persons who practice homeopathy recommend the following homeopathic remedies for restless leg syndrome.
Causticum: This is to be taken for restless legs at night and should be diluted as directed
Tarentula Hispanica: This is to be taken three times a day in the right dilution quantities until the symptoms improve.
Hyland’s homeopathic Restful Legs Remedy for RLS: This is an inexpensive and non-addictive remedy in the form of gentle homeopathic pills. These work out great in calming restless legs within a short time.
There are various herbs for RLS. These possess great qualities that help in offering relief for restless leg syndrome. These are natural and when used consistently will be of great help. Not all herbs may work on everyone and one may need to try a number of them to see what works best.
This herb has sedative effects which help to calm the nerves and relax the muscles. When used regularly it will also help to enhance sleep as it will treat the condition naturally.
- Take a cup of chamomile tea two hours before going to bed to make you relax.
- You could also massage your legs before going to bed using chamomile oil.
This is yet another one of the restless leg syndrome natural cures. It has a high content of menthol which helps to get rid of the symptoms of restless leg syndrome. It also provides relief from aching muscles.
- Before you go to bed, take a cup of peppermint tea. This will help to relax the muscles and give you a good night’s sleep.
- You could also apply peppermint oil on your legs. Massage it in for ten minutes to relieve tension.
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