RESTLESS LEG SYNDROME
Although restless leg syndrome (RLS) is not a well known condition, it is a common one, thought to affect about 10% of people. This is how NHS Choices describes the condition.
"Restless legs syndrome, also known as Willis-Ekbom disease, is a common condition of the nervous system that causes an overwhelming, irresistible urge to move the legs. It can also cause an unpleasant crawling or creeping sensation in the feet, calves and thighs. The sensation is often worse in the evening or at night. Occasionally, the arms are affected too.
Restless legs syndrome is also associated with involuntary jerking of the legs and arms, known as periodic limb movements in sleep (PLMS). Some people have the symptoms of restless legs syndrome occasionally, while others have them every day. The symptoms can vary from mild to severe. In severe cases, restless legs syndrome can be very distressing and disrupt a person's daily activities."
Conventional Medical Treatment for Restless Leg Syndrome
As usual, I have used as a guide to the conventional medical treatment of Restless Leg Syndrome. It says the when the condition is mild it can be managed with a few lifestyle changes, but when it is more severe drugs are required. First, it recommends a number of lifestyle changes, including the avoidance of stimulants (caffeine, tobacco and alcohol) in the evening, avoid smoking, taking regular daily exercise, developing good sleep habits, and avoiding pharmaceutical drugs that trigger the condition. It also recommends leg massage, taking a hot bath, applying a hot or cold compress to the leg, distraction through activity, relaxation exercises, walking a stretching exercises.
Osteopathic treatment is also mentioned! However, the main treatment offered by conventional medicine are these pharmaceutical drugs.
Dopamine Agonist Drugss
This drugs, including ropinirole, pramipexole, and rotigotine skin patches, are recommended if you are suffering from frequent symptoms of restless legs syndrome. They are supposed to increase dopamine levels. A few of the side effects of these drugs are mentioned, including making you feel sleepy, nausea, dizziness and headaches. .
Painkillers do not treat the condition, but they temporarily dampen the pain associated with the condition. . NHS Choices mentions "a mild opiate-based painkiller, such as codeine or tramadol ..... to relieve pain associated with restless legs syndrome" but they admit to only a few minor side effects of taking such drugs, such as dizziness, tiredness and headaches.
Again, these drugs aid sleep but do not treat the condition. Hypnotic drugs, such as temazepam and loprazolam are recommended, bu only on a short-term basis, usually no longer than a week. Again, NHS Choices only admits a few of the side effects of these drugs, feel sleepy or "hungover" in the morning. (which is why they are heavily restricted in terms of the time they can be taken).
This drug is recommended only if you have occasional symptoms of restless legs syndrome, as if it is taken every day "there's a high risk it would actually make your symptoms worse". NHS Choices says that the drug will make you feel very sleepy, often very suddenly, so driving and using tools or machinery is not recommended. .
Restless Legs. Has it been caused by pharmaceutical drugs?
Patients should always try to discover what has caused their illness, and these pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines are one of the known causes of Restless Legs.
Homeopathic Treatment of Restless Leg Syndrome
Homeopathy is a medical therapy that will avoid some of the side-effects and adverse reactions of conventional medical treatment. Homeopathy is the second most popular medical therapy in the world, and the most popular holistic system of medicine. Homeopathy is based on remedies made from a variety of different substances, all of which are known to cause symptoms of illness if taken in their normal form. However, homeopathy has discovered that substances that cause symptoms of illness can also cure those same symptoms of illness.
This is the principle of “Like cures Like” on which all homeopathy is based.
The task of the homeopath is to find a remedy whose symptom picture matches the symptoms of a person’s illness. These remedy symptom pictures have been developed over the last 220 years.
The selection of a homeopathic remedy is based on the individual’s symptoms of illness, not on any broad conventionally-defined illness. It is important to stress this. Homeopathy does not treat illness or diseases. Instead it treats an individual who has been diagnosed with a particular illness or disease. The distinction is important, and if you wish to read more about this, click on the chapter .
As far as Restless Leg Syndrome is concerned, homeopathy has highlighted a number of remedies that have been found to be useful in its treatment. has published an article written by Robert Medhurst that outlines some simple remedy pictures for a number of these remedies. All the remedies mentioned are safe, and any remedy that matches the patient’s symptoms will be effective. These simple remedy pictures give some indication of the types of symptoms they will treat.
The Arsenicum type is characteristically anxious, fearful, obsessive, tired (particularly after the slightest exertion) and restless. There is uneasiness in the lower limbs; they must move their feet constantly and cannot lie still at night. They often complain of cramps in the calves. Symptoms are improved by heat and elevating the head and worse from cold and wet weather.
Idealistic, sensitivity to authority and an intolerance of injustice may be seen in the person who responds to this remedy. They have a history of rheumatic, arthritic or paralytic complaints and respiratory congestion. They have restless legs at night with numbness, tearing pains in the joints, and knee joints that are subject to cracking sounds. Symptoms are improved by warmth, damp or wet weather and are made worse by cold dry weather.
The person who responds to Kali carb is often dogmatic and conservative, and may have a susceptibility to arthritic complaints, respiratory tract congestion and possibly asthma. Their RLS is often characterised by jerking, twitching, stitching or tearing pains which often wake the sufferer at around 2 to 4am. Symptoms are better for warm weather and worse for coition or the cold.
The Lycopodium type may appear to suffer from feelings of either inferiority or egotism and often has associated digestive disorders involving flatulence and/or issues to do with the liver. They often end up with their feet sticking out from under the bedclothes, their RLS symptoms are commonly more pronounced from 3 to 8pm and are more noticeable on the right side. Symptoms are better after midnight, better for uncovering and from getting cold. Symptoms are worse from the warmth of the bed.
This remedy type often displays a sad and taciturn nature with hyperacidity, dryness of mucus membranes, a sour body odour and a craving for meat. The legs and feet feel tired; the legs become restless, particularly the lower legs, which is particularly noticeable after sitting for long periods of time. The symptoms specific for RLS here involve cramping, sharp pains and weakness of the calves, and jerking of the legs. Symptoms are worse from the warmth of the bed and changes in the weather.
The type of person who may benefit from Phosphorous for the treatment of RLS will often appear to be anxious, excitable, impressionable, and in need of sympathy. In addition, they’re often tired, have a thirst for cold drinks and have a marked tendency to haemorrhage. Their RLS symptoms may include cramping of the toes, numbness, jerking, and stiffness of the joints. Symptoms are better from lying on the right side, better in the open air, worse at twilight and at a change in the weather.
This remedy has an affinity for joints, tendons and most areas of fibrous tissue, producing pain and stiffness that requires motion for improvement. The Rhus tox picture also involves an increased susceptibility to infections. Mentally, the remedy can produce nocturnal anxiety, restlessness and depression. The RLS symptoms here involve a constant need to move the legs and there is often pain which is worse on the first movement. Continued movement tends to provide some measure of relief. Symptoms are better from continued motion, heat and rubbing, and are worse from cold, wet, rest and are worse before storms.
This remedy is particularly useful for women suffering from RLS where this is accompanied by a history of weakness, venous congestion, uterine disorders, yellowing of the skin, depression, ascending symptoms and a feeling of coldness. The specific RLS symptoms that may correspond to Sepia are restlessness, twitching and jerking in limbs that can occur at any time of the day and frequently appear night and day. Symptoms are improved by exercise, pressure and heat, and are worse for cold, dampness and worse before a storm.
Tarantula is associated with profound restlessness and a general over-stimulation of the nervous system leading to hyperactivity, rages and impatience. Interestingly, the restlessness seen here is modulated by music and dancing- the more vigorous the better. The RLS symptoms include extreme restlessness with jerking, numbness and twitching. Symptoms are better for exertion, music, rubbing, pressure and are worse for coition, rest and cold. (Note that there is some dispute about the correct name of this remedy. It can be found as Tarentula hispania,or Tarentula hispanica, used here, which is the most likely to be correct and is taken from the German Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia of 2008)
Those of a hypersensitive nature and an over-stimulated nervous system prone to producing twitches and other involuntary movements, including RLS, may benefit from this remedy. The mental state here may show signs of either an over or under-stimulation and mental and physical fatigue. A sensory hypersensitivity may also be seen. RLS symptoms here include fidgety, trembling and twitchy feet which must be constantly moved. Symptoms are better from discharges, pressure and warmth and worse from exhaustion, noise, touch and after the consumption of alcohol. Material doses of zinc are commonly used by practitioners in the hope of relieving restless legs but this frequently has little effect. The reason for this is often found to be a diminished ability to absorb dietary or supplemental zinc. The use of Zincum metallicum 6C prior to ingesting elemental zinc has provided the solution to this problem.
Many of these remedies can be found in simple home-use remedy kits that can be obtained from . However, for an accurate, individualised remedy selection, patients should consult with . This increases the likelihood of matching an individual with a remedy that will work for them. A remedy that does not match the symptoms of an individual’s illness will not work, but equally will do no harm!
Scientific Evidence Supporting Homeopathy
There is a significant and growing amount of scientific evidence confirming that homeopathy is a safe and effective medical therapy. .
The most important proof for the safety and effectiveness of homeopathy is clinical experience, that is the many millions of patients who, having suffered serious illness, have been treated successfully with homeopathy. This is going on throughout the world, and been doing so for over 200 years.
Homeopathy has also developed a voluminous materia medica. This contains the intricate details of the healing properties of several thousand substances used to make homeopathic remedies. The short remedy pictures above are just a tiny part of this knowledge.
I am not aware of any scientific testing of homeopathic treatment on Restless Leg Synddrome.
(The information on this webpage represents the views and opinion of the author, based on his clinical experience, and the traditions of Homeopathy. This material is provided for information only, and should not be construed as medical advice or instruction. Always consult with a suitably qualified and registered Homeopath, or with a medical doctor for advice about the treatment they offer, especially in serious or life threatening medical conditions, or if you are already taking medical drugs.’)
This is a copy/paste from original website: http://s-scrutton.co.uk/Why_Homeopathy/illness-n-r/restless-legs.html