Compression Socks and Restless Leg Syndrome
The medical community is discovering more unique ways to use compression therapy for increased blood flow to the lower limbs. Research shows the benefit of compression socks include help for those who suffer from restless leg syndrome. People with restless leg syndrome have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep due to uncomfortable leg sensations or leg twitching. Here we will discuss the benefits of compression socks and restless leg syndrome symptom reduction to experience more hours and a better quality of sleep.
What is restless leg syndrome and its symptoms?
Research has shown that restless leg syndrome or RLS is likely associated with neurological conditions that trigger strange and uncomfortable leg movements at night. Often, patients describe the sensations and symptoms in different ways including:
- An itching, pulling or twitching sensation deep within the legs.
- The sensations typically occur while sitting, lying down or sleeping.
- Some relief is found by rubbing, stretching or kicking the legs.
- These compulsive leg movements are unpleasant and prevent quality sleep.
Symptoms of restless leg syndrome can range from mild to severe, can occur every night or a few times per month. RLS is more common in older adults, women and about 40 percent of pregnant women.
How to stop restless leg syndrome
A medical examination is needed to determine if the person is experiencing restless leg symptoms or whether there is another problem causing the unusual leg movements. These may include an iron deficiency, symptoms associated with sleep apnea or mental conditions such as excessive tension and anxiety.
Lifestyle changes can also help alleviate mild to moderate restless leg symptoms and promote better sleep quality. Avoiding the use of tobacco and alcohol, reducing your caffeine intake and maintaining a consistent sleep pattern are some lifestyle changes that may help RLS.
More Tips for Restless Legs
Wear compression socks
Increasing blood flow and massaging the leg muscles are two benefits of wearing compression socks to treat restless leg syndrome. Even a mild level of graduated pressure in the 15-20 mmHg compression range can provide relief and benefit to those with restless leg syndrome.
In addition to relaxing the leg muscles with gentle, graduated pressure, compression socks will also decrease leg swelling and improve the circulation of blood throughout the lower body. These benefit patients who tend to experience a better quality of sleep due to more oxygen reaching the legs and less pooling of blood in the lower extremities.
Massage legs regularly
Many people who suffer from RLS have found significant relief from symptoms with regular leg massage. And, when combined with other methods to safely manage RLS symptoms, many patients experience more relaxed leg muscles. Moderate pressure is best for relaxing leg muscles, and the right amount of gentle massaging action can be had by wearing the right compression socks.
Consider compression socks designed to apply 20-30 mmHg of graduated pressure. The improved blood circulation will help your legs feel relaxed, with the added benefit of preventing blood clots.
Consider hot or cold therapy
Before going to bed at night, consider taking a warm, soaking bath to relax your muscles and your mind. For more severe restless leg symptoms, alternating warm and cool packs may bring relief. Hot and/or cold therapy is used to reduce sensations in the limbs to promote blood flow. More specifically, heat therapy expands the blood vessels to relax legs and increase blood flow, while cold therapy can reduce the twitching and crawling sensations or signals that are sent to the brain.
Avoid activities before bed that can cause fatigue which tends to worsen symptoms of RLS. Practice good sleep hygiene by keeping the room cool, quiet, and comfortable.
- Restless leg syndrome is a neurological condition that triggers strange and uncomfortable leg movements at night.
- Compression socks will relax the leg muscles with gentle and graduated pressure.
- Lifestyle changes like a regular sleep schedule and cutting caffeine also help alleviate RLS symptoms.
- Additionally, Hot and/or cold therapy is used to reduce sensations in the limbs to promote blood flow.
Check out Dr. Motion’s Compression Socks
For a wide selection of compression socks for men, women, and sports, visit Dr. Motion online or at your favorite retailer. Our everyday compression socks apply just the right amount of graduated pressure to gently massage legs and increase blood flow for better sleep.