Is Involuntary Leg Movement Considered Restless Legs?

Involuntary leg movement is a condition when a patient is unable to control the movement of their legs or experiences shaking, spasms or an uncontrollable urge to move their legs. This will usually occur when they are at a resting position or when trying to sleep. In some cases, this might be a temporary problem but in a lot of cases this syndrome continues to persist on a long-term or daily basis.


What is Restless Legs?

Restless legs  is a neurological condition which is characterized by a similar symptom of involuntary leg movement as mentioned above. Patients complain of a throbbing or sort of electrical pulsating sensation which seems to shoot up and down their legs. This causes an urge to move or try and relieve the sensation by rubbing the leg vigorously. This too occurs mostly at night or when the patient is trying to sleep. In fact, trying to rest or lying down actually heightens the symptom and will cause the patient disruptive sleep. The symptom can range from just a mild irritation or in severe cases can be quite painful. The most adverse effect of restless legs on the patient’s life would be a lack of sleep and feeling constant lethargy which can have a major effect on their daily activities and may even lead to depression.


Is Involuntary Leg Movement the same as Restless Legs?

While involuntary leg movement is definitely the one and only symptom of restless legs, it doesn’t mean that it is the only condition that causes it. If a patient is complaining of suffering from involuntary leg movement or other uncontrollable movements in body parts – there are numerous neurological conditions that could cause this and it is important to consult a doctor to have a thorough checkup and determine the cause of this symptom. While patients who suffer from restless legs face involuntary leg movement as a symptom, there are patients suffering from other conditions who also face the same.


What Other Conditions can Involuntary Leg Movement be a Symptom for?

Tremors, spasms, involuntary leg movement – are all symptoms of several neurological conditions that need to be properly checked for by a physician before the patient can ascertain what the exact underlying causes are for this symptom. Even a lowering of blood sugar levels or alcohol withdrawal can cause these neurological effects on the body.

The most common reason a patient might be suffering from an involuntary leg movement symptom is due to some sort of damage to the nervous system or areas of the brain – and these can result to a number of kinds of neurological disorders, each of which needs to be treated in their own specific way.

A patient from involuntary leg movement is always advised to seek professional medical help to determine whether it is indeed restless legs or some other form of neurological condition before they can fix on a method of treatment that would best suit the condition.




Conventional Medicine for Restless Legs

Restless legs is unfortunately one of those ailments which doctors and researchers are yet to come up with substantial answers for.

Most commonly, restless legs is just what its name suggests with its most prevalent syndrome being that patients suffer from a sort of electric sensation which surges up and down their legs.

This can lead to a lot of discomfort and patients constantly feel the need to get up from their resting positions, walk around and try and rub their legs in order to relieve the pain. It commonly occurs among patients when they are in an idle position, especially when trying to sleep – this can greatly disrupt their daily lives.


What is the conventional medicine for Restless legs?

The conventional medicine for restless legs are usually a combination of sleep drugs which also try and combat some of the symptoms of restless legs.

This is because the most adverse effect that the symptoms of this condition have is on a patient’s sleeping pattern; this lack of sleep then affects them psychologically and bodily.

What is interesting to note here is the fact that these drugs were originally designed for people suffering from other more serious conditions, but is now also used as medicine for restless legs. This is because they help with the relief of some of these common symptoms and also help patients sleep better.


Does the medicine for Restless Legs have any side effects?

Unfortunately both the above medicine for restless legs have been reported to have adverse side effects, as most drugs that are used to help with sleep patterns do. One, for instance is known to cause nausea and sleeplessness. Another generic one is reported to cause nausea and sleeplessness, but also other side effects such as lethargy and dizziness.

In fact, some patients have even reported feeling drowsy and falling asleep during the day and without any warning; which is quite an adverse side effect for medicine for restless legs.

This is the important point to note; while patients complain about how restless legs disrupts their lives and they don’t end up sleeping too well – medicine for restless legs can also cause serious effects on their lives and perhaps even pose some long term health risks.

It is crucial to make the choice between the two situations only after having properly educated yourself about what the risks are.



Doctors and researchers are still studying the potential benefits of other harmless supplements such as Magnesium, vitamins and iron and if these can be useful to treat the symptoms of restless legs.

For now, there is no binding evidence to suggest that one or more of these minerals might be helpful and is thus not prescribed as conventional medication.

Doctors and nutritionists also recommend exploring natural remedies such as exercising and including certain mineral-rich foods in the patient’s diet which can be used to supplement a deficiency that might be causing the symptoms of restless legs.



Improving Your Mood with Sleep Hygiene

Getting high-quality sleep improves your moods significantly. Once you discover that you are prone to mood changes due to less sleep, it is essential to find practical solutions. Poor sleep can lead to irritability, stress, and vulnerability. When this is not corrected, it leads to more issues such as long-term stress.

Practicing proper sleep hygiene is a natural remedy to this issue. The things you do every night before going to bed have the potential to improve your moods. These are in terms of temperature, darkness, comfort, and quiet. Below are five tips you can use:

Determine how much sleep you need. This can be achieved by classifying whether you are a long or short sleeper. Gauge the amount of sleep you need on the recommended 7-8hrs. With this, you can adjust your schedule according to how much sleep you need to feel well-rested.

Adhere to a regular sleep and wake up time – go to bed at the same time for several nights. You will realize that your body becomes accustomed to the schedule with time. This should also apply to the weekends to avoid experiencing the rebound effect on Mondays.

Ensure that it is as quiet as possible. If you cannot sleep in complete silence, you need to use white noise. This is essential since external noise is an easy distraction.

Keep the room dark. Darkness communicates to the brain that it’s time to shut down. If you live in a place where there is too much external light, you need to find curtains that block it out. Also, ensure that the temperature is cool.

Avoid screens before going to bed. Exposing yourself to the light from screens tricks the brain into assuming that it’s day. Also, the excitement and stress that you might get from information on the devices negatively affects your sleep.