Symptoms of restless legs syndrome

Restless legs syndrome typically causes an overwhelming urge to move your legs and an uncomfortable sensation in your legs.

The sensation may also affect your arms, chest and face, too. It has been described as:

  • tingling, burning, itching or throbbing
  • a "creepy-crawly" feeling
  • feeling like fizzy water is inside the blood vessels in the legs
  • a painful, cramping sensation in the legs, particularly in the calves

These unpleasant sensationscan range from mild to unbearable, and are usually worse in the evening and during the night. They can often be relieved by moving or rubbing your legs.

Some people experience symptoms occasionally,while others have them every day. You may find it difficult tosit for long periods of time for example, ona long train journey.

Just over half of people withrestless legs syndrome also experience episodes of lower Lumbago (low back pain) .

Periodic limb movements in sleep (PLMS)

Up to 80% of people withrestless legs syndrome also have periodic limb movements in sleep (PLMS).

If you have PLMS, your leg will jerk or twitch uncontrollably,usuallyat night while you're asleep. The movements are brief and repetitive, and usually occur every 10 to 60 seconds.

PLMS can be severe enough to wake up both you and your partner. The involuntary leg movementscan also occur when you're awake and resting.

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 29 Nov 2016