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Restless Legs Syndrome

Do you have an insatiable urge to move your legs, especially at night? Are your legs crampy, itchy, throbbing, or tingly? Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) might be to blame.

If you experience any of the symptoms described above, it’s time to see a vein treatment specialist. While the symptoms might seem like an annoyance, they can signify something more serious, including Chronic Venous Insufficiency, anemia, kidney failure, or diabetes. Schedule a consultation at our esteemed Texas Vein Treatment Center for an accurate diagnosis. Left untreated, RLS will worsen and the cause behind those restless sensations could be life-threatening. Read on to learn what causes Restless Legs Syndrome and how our doctors use innovative vein treatments to eliminate it.

What Exactly Is Restless Legs Syndrome?

Willis-Ekbom Disease, also called Restless Legs Syndrome, is a neurological condition that causes abnormal impulses to move your legs. Patients feel a continuous, uncontrollable urge to move around, especially while they are resting or trying to sleep. It begins in the legs, but the sensation sometimes migrates to the chest and arms. You can reduce the restlessness by moving or massaging your legs. However, if it recurs, RLS is likely linked to one of many serious diseases, including Chronic Venous Insufficiency. Seeking a prompt diagnosis is essential to preventing a dire outcome.

Symptoms of Restless Legs Syndrome

Take note of these telltale symptoms, especially if they are worse at the end of the day.

  • Painful cramping in the calves (charley horse)
  • Chronic throbbing, tingling, burning, or itching in the legs
  • Insatiable urge to move the legs

Are you suffering from restless leg syndrome? Discover how our vein clinic can help!

What Causes Restless Legs Syndrome?

The basal ganglia is a cluster of nuclei in the brain responsible for motor control. Dopamine is essential to the functions of the basal ganglia, so when it is low, uncontrollable muscle movements (Restless Legs Syndrome) occur. Dopamine levels are lowest at night, which is why RLS is worse at the end of the day. So, what causes dopamine deficiency? Here are some factors that play a role.

Primary RLS

In some cases, the cause of Restless Legs Syndrome can’t be determined, which means it is likely genetic for those patients.

Secondary RLS

In most cases, RLS has a causative disease or inciting condition that prompts its development. The conditions below are common triggers for secondary RLS.


Hormonal changes and iron and folate levels during the last trimester of pregnancy can cause temporary Restless Legs Syndrome. In these patients, symptoms resolve immediately after childbirth and are considered normal.


Iron is essential to the function that converts tyrosine to dopamine, so when iron levels are low (anemia), dopamine deficiency can occur.

Chronic Medical Conditions

Conditions like Fibromyalgia, Parkinson’s Disease, chronic kidney failure, hypothyroidism, and diabetes cause Restless Legs Syndrome by reducing dopamine levels.

Chronic Venous Insufficiency

Chronic venous insufficiency is a disease in which the valves in the veins — usually responsible for natural blood circulation to the heart — malfunction. In this case, blood flows back down and accumulates around the legs. This can also lead to restless leg syndrome.

Venous insufficiency is one of the most common and dangerous causes of restless leg syndrome. If left untreated, it leads to serious complications like varicose veins, skin infections, leg ulcers, and deep vein thrombosis.

Do your symptoms of restless leg syndrome keep you from getting a good night’s sleep? Find relief with professional help from our qualified doctors.

How Is Restless Legs Syndrome Diagnosed?

RLS is not something you can self-diagnose, nor are the diseases that often cause it. Visit a reputable Texas vein treatment doctor for a prompt assessment. Our doctors run state-of-the-art tests to check for RLS and vein disease. Here are some ways we identify the source of your restless sensations:

  • Doppler Ultrasound — identifies Chronic Venous Insufficiency
  • Electrocardiogram — identifies a cardiovascular condition
  • Blood Test — identifies kidney, liver, or blood count issues

Once we’ve established the root cause of your RLS, we’ll discuss your minimally invasive vein treatment options.


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Are There Home Remedies for Restless Legs Syndrome?

Lifestyle Changes You Can Make to Improve RLS

Only primary RLS (that which is not caused by an underlying disease) can be treated with home remedies. Here are some tips to try.

  • Stop smoking.
  • Stick to a consistent and healthy sleep schedule.
  • Add cardiovascular exercise (walking, running, swimming) to your lifestyle. 
  • Don’t exercise close to bedtime.
  • Eliminate alcohol and caffeine.

How Can I Manage Restless Legs Syndrome?

When restless impulses strike in your legs, try these tactics to control the urge.

  • Stretch your leg muscles.
  • Massage the area.
  • Apply a heating pad or take a hot shower. 
  • Place a cold or warm compress on the legs.
  • Perform relaxing activities like yoga.

These natural remedies will only provide temporary relief for mild symptoms of RLS. If you have an underlying disease, treating that is the only way to resolve Restless Legs Syndrome.

Which Medicines Treat Restless Legs Syndrome?

The following are commonly prescribed for RLS following a proper diagnosis. They provide some temporary symptom relief but cannot cure Restless Legs Syndrome.

  • Pain medicines like codeine or tramadol
  • Dopamine antagonists like rotigotine or pramipexole
  • Dopamine supplements like levodopa
  • Sleep medicines like temazepam or loprazolam

These medicines are listed for informational purposes only and should not be used to treat RLS without a doctor’s diagnosis. Consult our Texas vein treatment specialists before trying any medication. 

Is There a Permanent Cure for Restless Legs Syndrome?

Restless Legs Syndrome has several causes that pose a serious threat to your health. It’s imperative to seek a diagnosis from a qualified vein treatment expert. Our accredited Texas Vein Treatment Clinic hires only board certified doctors who are trained in the latest technologies to treat RLS. Schedule an appointment to detect any underlying disease. It’s the only way to thoroughly treat secondary RLS. 

Regain your Self-Confidence

We treat all our patients like they’re our only patients. Our vein doctors listen to your problems and examine your medical history to diagnose a treatment plan that’s meant just for you. They actively seek minimally-invasive treatments that conclude within an hour.

Regain your self-confidence and say goodbye to those welts and marks on your skin! Book a consultation at our vein treatment clinic in Houston today!