Nearly 10% of people experience the discomfort of restless legs at some time in their life.
The problem is most bothersome when you lie down to rest, with a creepy crawling sensation in the legs, and relief comes from stretching or moving the legs.
If severe, the restless legs can cause insomnia.
Most often the cause is unknown, but it can be secondary to other problems such as kidney failure, pregnancy, anemia (particularly from iron deficiency), rheumatoid arthritis, or peripheral neuropathy (damage to the nerves).
Some medicines, including many of the antidepressants, can contribute to the problem.
Effective treatments are available. Some of the medications used for Parkinson's disease can be very helpful in low dosages. For iron deficiency, supplemental iron is given.
For more information, visit www.rls.org.