Also known as Willis-Ekbom Disease, Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) is a condition that’s characterized by unpleasant and uncomfortable sensations in the legs and an uncontrollable urge to move them. Restless leg syndrome has many possible causes, including venous disease, and effective treatment revolves around managing the symptoms to improve quality of life. So, if you’re suffering from RLS and are diagnosed with an underlying venous disease, there is hope for treatment and relief of symptoms.
While the severity may differ between affected individuals, most patients report symptoms that occur in the late afternoon to evening hours, with the worst effects occurring at night when the patient is resting. This can also occur when the patient is inactive or sitting for long periods of time, such as on a road trip.
Because the condition worsens during the night, RLS can cause sleep disturbances and difficulty returning to sleep after arousal. In many cases, moving the legs or walking can temporarily relieve the discomfort, but the sensations return once the movement stops.
RLS is classified as a sleep disorder, due to the symptoms being triggered by resting and worsening in the evening, and a movement disorder, since patients are forced to move in an effort to relieve discomfort. Though these classifications apply, RLS best fits the category of neurological-sensory disorder, since the symptoms and underlying condition are caused by the brain.