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RLS is both a sleep disorder, because the symptoms are triggered by resting and attempting to sleep, and a movement disorder, because people with RLS are forced to move their legs in order to relieve symptoms.


If you have RLS, you may feel an irresistible urge to move, which is accompanied by uncomfortable sensations in your lower limbs that are unlike normal sensations experienced by someone without the disorder. The sensations in your legs may feel like aching, throbbing, pulling, itching, crawling, or creeping. These sensations less commonly affect the arms, and rarely the chest or head. Although the sensations can occur on just one side of your body, they most often affect both sides.

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) is the primary federal funding agency for research on restless legs syndrome. NINDS is a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a leading supporter of biomedical research in the world.

Consider participating in a clinical trial so clinicians and scientists can learn more about restless legs syndrome. Clinical research uses human volunteers to help researchers learn more about a disorder and perhaps find better ways to safely detect, treat, or prevent disease.

The human leg, in the general word sense, is the entire lower limb[1] of the human body, including the foot, thigh or sometimes even the hip or gluteal region. However, the definition in human anatomy refers only to the section of the lower limb extending from the knee to the ankle, also known as the crus[2][3] or, especially in non-technical use, the shank.[4] Legs are used for standing, and all forms of locomotion including recreational such as dancing, and constitute a significant portion of a person's mass. Female legs generally have greater hip anteversion and tibiofemoral angles, but shorter femur and tibial lengths than those in males.[5]

The adductor longus has its origin at superior ramus of the pubis and inserts medially on the middle third of the linea aspera. Primarily an adductor, it is also responsible for some flexion. The adductor magnus has its origin just behind the longus and lies deep to it. Its wide belly divides into two parts: One is inserted into the linea aspera and the tendon of the other reaches down to adductor tubercle on the medial side of the femur's distal end where it forms an intermuscular septum that separates the flexors from the extensors. Magnus is a powerful adductor, especially active when crossing legs. Its superior part is a lateral rotator but the inferior part acts as a medial rotator on the flexed leg when rotated outward and also extends the hip joint. The adductor minimus is an incompletely separated subdivision of the adductor magnus. Its origin forms an anterior part of the magnus and distally it is inserted on the linea aspera above the magnus. It acts to adduct and lateral rotate the femur.[24]

Injuries to quadriceps or hamstrings are caused by the constant impact loads to the legs during activities, such as kicking a ball. While doing this type of motion, 85% of that shock is absorbed to the hamstrings; this can cause strain to those muscles.[61]

The most common injuries in running involve the knees and the feet. Various studies have focused on the initial cause of these running related injuries and found that there are many factors that correlate to these injuries. Female distance runners who had a history of stress fracture injuries had higher vertical impact forces than non-injured subjects.[62] The large forces onto the lower legs were associated with gravitational forces, and this correlated with patellofemoral pain or potential knee injuries.[62] Researchers have also found that these running-related injuries affect the feet as well, because runners with previous injuries showed more foot eversion and over-pronation while running than non-injured runners.[63] This causes more loads and forces on the medial side of the foot, causing more stress on the tendons of the foot and ankle.[63] Most of these running injuries are caused by overuse: running longer distances weekly for a long duration is a risk for injuring the lower legs.[64]

Voluntary stretches to the legs, such as the wall stretch, condition the hamstrings and the calf muscle to various movements before vigorously working them.[65] The environment and surroundings, such as uneven terrain, can cause the feet to position in an unnatural way, so wearing shoes that can absorb forces from the ground's impact and allow for stabilizing the feet can prevent some injuries while running as well. Shoes should be structured to allow friction-traction at the shoe surface, space for different foot-strike stresses, and for comfortable, regular arches for the feet.[61]

The chance of damaging our lower extremities will be reduced by having knowledge about some activities associated with lower leg injury and developing a correct form of running, such as not over-pronating the foot or overusing the legs. Preventative measures, such as various stretches, and wearing appropriate footwear, will also reduce injuries.

Adolescent and adult women in many Western cultures often remove the hair from their legs. Toned, tanned, shaved legs are sometimes perceived as a sign of youthfulness and are often considered attractive in these cultures.

Men generally do not shave their legs in any culture. However, leg-shaving is a generally accepted practice in modeling. It is also fairly common in sports where the hair removal makes the athlete appreciably faster by reducing drag; the most common case of this is competitive swimming.

Restless legs syndrome (RLS), also called Willis-Ekbom disease, is a sleep disorder that causes an intense, often irresistible urge to move your legs (and even your arms or body). It occurs along with other sensations in your limbs described as pulling, creeping, tugging, throbbing, itching, aching, burning or crawling.

These sensations usually occur when lying down in bed or when sitting for long periods of time, such as while driving or while at a theater. RLS typically occurs in the evening, making it difficult to fall asleep. Often times people with RLS want to walk around and shake their legs (or arms) to help relieve the uncomfortable sensations.

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) has been found to be a genetic syndrome in some cases, meaning that parents with RLS can pass it down to their children. Up to 92% of patients with RLS have a first-degree relative with the disorder. These patients tend to develop symptoms earlier in life (before age 45) than those with RLS without the genetic link.

Unfortunately, there is no specific test for restless legs syndrome (RLS). The diagnosis is made based on your symptoms. A medical history, complete physical and neurological exam and blood tests may be conducted to rule out any other possible health problems associated with RLS. An overnight sleep study may be recommended to evaluate for other sleep disorders, especially obstructive sleep apnea.

Treatment of restless legs syndrome depends on the intensity of the symptoms. Treatment should be considered if quality of life is affected by insomnia and excessive daytime drowsiness. In cases of RLS due to ongoing medical disorders, specific treatment is also necessary.

Purpose of review: To provide an overview of the molecular pathways and recent genetic risk loci associated with restless legs syndrome/Willis-Ekbom disease (RLS/WED) and describe the most recent treatment guidelines.

Background: Restless legs syndrome (RLS), a common sensorimotor disorder, has a wide range of severity from merely annoying to affecting sleep and quality of life severely enough to warrant medical treatment. Previous epidemiological studies, however, have failed to determine the prevalence of those with clinically significant RLS symptoms and to examine the life effects and medical experiences of this group.

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