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Alternative Treatments for Restless Leg Syndrome

Updated on September 13, 2012

Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is a health leg disorder that is characterized by the need to keep on leg activities even when time does not allow. This is health disorder which is not at all life threatening but can cause untold suffering. It is therefore good to have information on the available RLS remedies as well as alternative treatments for this syndrome. There are herbs for RLS in addition to other treatment options that we have at our disposal.

In as much as RLS is not life threatening, it causes untold suffering to the affected individuals. This health disorder affects sleep by interrupting it in the middle of the doing so. It has therefore been affecting the quality of life of the individuals who suffer from it. Looking for the information on this area is important in the sense that you one will get the chance to know the causes of this health disorder, how best to contain it, how best to avoid it and how and what treatments are available for the individual suffering from it.

RLS remedies

There are a lot of convectional and alternative treatments for restless leg syndrome. It is good to bear in minds that in as much as many remedies are designed to cure the syndrome once it occurs or manifests itself, prevention is the best way of ensuring that the disorder does not occur at all. In this sense, efforts aimed at prevention of RLS are more needed than those that seek to contain or cure the disorder. This is borrowed from the all-time popular saying that prevention is better than cure.

Among these RLS remedies, most individuals prefer the use of natural remedies for the disorder. Here are some of the most common natural methods of containing the RLS disorder;

· Dietary RLS remedies can be practiced to ensure that you have prevented any instances that can lead you to developing the disorder. Among the most important is limiting caffeine intake in your diet. Caffeine is closely related to RLS and you can get this even from such things as chocolate and sodas. Efforts aimed at ensuring proper vitamin intake are good too. RLS is closely associated to dietary deficiencies in vital vitamins such as vitamin B12. Other dietary remedies should be directed to ensuring that the diet contains enough minerals and salts such as iron. It has been documented that iron deficiency is closely associated with this health disorder. This means that any remedy for RLS should contain dietary efforts to ensure that the body is equipped with the necessary nutrients, vitamins, minerals and all other vital elements.

· The need for the right amount and manner of exercise should be used as a remedy for RLS. In this way, the individual should be sure to practice aerobics such that the body will have the chance to deal with the disorder. Jogging or walking fast should be enough for the condition management. This means that you should be able to do such exercise frequently and without a lot of pressure building or intensity. This will rid-off the physical stress that can be harmful to the body. This exercise should be done just before the RLS sets in. research has shown that this reduces the effects of the health disorder and that it also gives the body an opportunity to deal with any other element that may be brought about by lack of exercise. It has not been scientifically proved on the real connection between exercise and RLS but it is definite that this reduces its effects.

· Based on the fact that the syndrome is riddled with unclear causes and myths, the practice of wearing socks when sleeping has been practiced for long now. Wearing socks to sleep has not been scientifically examined but it seems that the warmth associated by wearing warm socks at night works to reduce the effects of the syndrome. In this way, it has been seen that when the legs are cold, there are more tendencies towards developing the syndrome. Warm legs at night will definitely ensure that the individual has less chances of developing the condition.

· Other remedies that can be used is by taking a warm bath just before bed. It has been shown that a warm bath makes the body to relax as well as the legs. The warm bath also ensures that the legs are warm and therefore relaxed. This makes it possible to reduce the effects and the chances of developing the RLS.

· Humans are known to come up with weird and traditional methods of treating an otherwise biological or medical disorder. Among the most popular of these practices is the placing of a bar of ivory soap between the sheets before sleeping. This is not scientifically tenable for investigation but all the same, it has been used by individuals for dealing with the restless leg syndrome. Placing of a bar of ivory soap between the sheets to manage RLS is completely mythical but all the same not harmful and therefore worth trying out.

· There are also herbal remedies for this syndrome. The use of herbs for RLS has been a home based option for treating the syndrome for long now. These herbal solutions to this disorder have the same medicinal capacities as convectional drugs for the same disorder. However, it has been documented that these herbal remedies, in as much as they may be having the same properties with the modern drugs, they are safer. This is because they do not have all those side effects that are associated with the convectional drugs. These herbs, unlike the drugs for the RLS, are usually available without prescriptions. You can source for them without visiting a qualified physician. However, it is still advisable to talk to a qualified doctor before using these herbal remedies together with other drugs or treatment methods.

RLS have many herbs that can be used in its treatments. Among the most notable of them include the following;

· There are those herbs that are known to be an aid to sleep. Doctors usually prescribe the use of sleeping aids to enhance the quality of sleep for those who are suffering from restless leg syndrome. Among the most commonly used herb in this area is the valerian root. It has been documented that those who use the herb as a sleeping aid tend to have more restful nights than those who do not. In this way, the herb is an important sleep inducing and effective method of addressing RLS. Studies have indicated that the herb is a good source of sleep aid and that it is this property that makes the root to be used in the management of restless leg syndrome.

· Kava is another herb that can safely be used in addressing RLS. Although it is not highly recommended especially to those who have other health problems such as liver damage, it has proved to be a better alternative to some people. Kava has been used as a treatment method for anxiety but has not been recommend for RLS.

· There have been documented reasons behind the use of fava beans in the treatment of restless leg syndrome. These reasons have dwelt on the assumption that dopamine levels in the body are related to the emergence of the syndrome. In this way, the beans are used as a source of dopamine. It is known that the beans are rich sources of dopamine and therefore are very effective in the management of the syndrome. It is good to note that no clear research has been able to demonstrate what affects the levels of dopamine. However, the relationship between the level of dopamine and the RLS is very clear. This therefore suggests that the beans are effective ways of treating the syndrome.

· The dopamine arguments have been used to clear the air concerning the use of other remedies especially those that are aimed at the treatment of Parkinson syndrome. It is clear that individuals with RLS use medications that are based on the dopamine ideas in the treatment of RLS. These ones are used on off-label basis and have been found to be effective and efficient.

· In addition to dopamine, those with restless leg syndrome have also been using those herbs that enhance the flow of blood in the brain. These herbs include Brahmi and Gingko herbs. These are two herbs that are known to have important properties that ensure good blood flow. In conjunction with cowhage herb, that is known to be a very good source of L-dopa, the two herbs ensure that there is high amounts of dopamine in the brain and hence proper management of restless leg syndrome management. However, it should be noted that research on these herbs is not very conclusive. This follows that you should be cautious enough to use these herbs for RLS with the directions of a qualified health professional.

· Other people have been using skullcap as herbal remedy for RLS. The remedy works on the RLS from two fronts. First, skullcap has antispasmodic properties and therefore will reduce the spasms as a result of restless leg syndrome. Better still; the skullcap has sedative properties that will ensure that the body is calmed and relieved from stress. This will eventually make sleeping easy and uninterrupted. Other arguments have suggested that skullcap improves the levels of dopamine. Although this has not been clearly documented, earlier studies had shown that skullcap affects the levels of dopamine albeit with unclear manner of how and to what extent. However, it is fairly agreed that skullcap has the potential of increasing dopamine concentrations.

· In addition to the mentioned herbs for the treatment of restless leg syndrome, there are also other popular herbs that have been used as remedies. These ones include chamomile, lemon balm and avena herbs. Passionflower herbs have also been fronted as very useful herbal remedies for RLS. However, it should be remembered that these herbs are only sedatives and therefore may not necessarily related to the treatment of RLS.

· There have also been those who have claimed that cannabis sativa can also be used in the treatment of restless leg syndrome. Due to legal considerations in many countries around the world, research on the efficacy of cannabis sativa has not been conclusive. There are also those who have posited that the damage caused by the weed in the individual’s body is more than what effects you can get from the weed as a RLS treatment method. Using the weed as a herbal remedy for the syndrome is therefore contentious and should be guided by the advice from qualified persons. It should also be noted that the weed is illegal in many countries across the globe.

It should be noted that these herbal treatments may not be as common as the use of vitamin supplements. But all the same, these treatment methods are very effective and if well applied, are very efficient in the treatment of restless leg supplements.

It should also be noted that Chinese herbs are also available to be used in the treatment of this syndrome. Although there has not been concrete research on the efficacy of these Chinese herbs for RLS, there have been arguments that these herbs have been reliable for generations and generations. In this way, they have been used in the treatment of such disorders for many years and by many generations. There have been grounds where the Chinese herbs for restless legs derive their foundations. Three areas that are related to the syndrome has been identified as liver wind and yin; affecting both the movements and restlessness respectively as well as the blood deficiency (QI) that is believed to affect the fitness of the legs or the lower limbs in general.

The Chinese herbs for RLS are usually taken in conjunction with other remedies aimed at addressing the RLS disorder. These other methods may include acupuncture for them to be considered very effective and efficient.

It should however be noted that the use of herbal remedies in the treatment of RLS should be done with caution. Some of these herbs for RLS may not be very effective when used with other treatment methods. Special attention should also be paid in the dietary intake of vitamins as they are very useful in the treatment of RLS. There are many home-based treatment methods that are available to be used in the management and prevention of RLS. This means that there are lots of vitamin supplements, herbs for RLS as well as many other remedies that can be accessed from home. This therefore means that you should be able to go for what is right for your condition, what you can easily access and what is good for your personal health and body.

Use of herbs for RLS

Use of herbs for RLS is guided by several properties. These properties and benefits of using the herbs include;

· Herbs for RLS are used due to a few properties that these herbs contain. The most important of them is the fact that these herbs have sedative properties. Sedative properties make the individuals using the herbs to experience relaxation of the mind and body. This is good for the management of the disorder and providing relief. Once the body relaxes, there are high possibilities of getting to sleep easier and faster. This means that the individuals suffering from the disorder are able to sleep well. This also has a rip-over effect in the sense that good body rest is important for the body to perform other important bodily functions that will ensure peace of mind, emotional well being and physical relief from fatigue or stress. In this way therefore, sedative properties become the benefits behind the use of these herbs.

· It is a known fact that these herbs for RLS are sleep-inducers. Once the victims of restless leg syndrome take these herbs, they are able to sleep and rest better. This ensures that the sleeping experience is enhanced and less pain experienced in the process of sleeping.

· The other benefit of using herbs for the treatment of restless leg syndrome is that some of these herbs improve the levels of dopamine in the body. This is believed to have relationship with the disorder and that high level of dopamine is good for the management of the syndrome.

· The herbs are locally available and accessible. Every individual suffering from RLS may access the herbs easily and more cost-effectively. In this sense, more sufferers are able to access the herbal remedies more easily and cheaply.

· The other benefits include the fact that you can use and access the herbs without a doctor’s prescription. This means that you will be able to use the herbs without having to pay for prescription or consultation fees. However, it is good to ensure that you have visited a doctor before using the herbs. This is because some active ingredients on the herbs may be detrimental to being used together with other treatment remedies.

· Other benefits of using herbal remedies are that unlike other drugs, herbs have little or no side effects. Herbal concoctions or supplements have reduced chances of living with other side effects in addition to the management of the RLS disorders. This makes the herbs safer and more preferred. In this way, the use of herbs has been popular among those individuals who want to use a method of treatment that will be void of other undesirable effects.

· Some of the drugs that are used in the treatment of restless leg syndrome are addictive. This is unlike herbal remedies for the treatment of the same. Most of the herbs used commonly and popularly are not anywhere close to being addictive and that the use of the same can be stopped at will.

· The use of herbs in the treatment of restless leg syndrome is simple and does not require a lot of complex processes. This makes the method more readily acceptable to the users. These processes can be performed at home and at whatever time the user may decide.

· The use of herbs in the treatment of RLS is beneficial due to many other reasons. Remember that, with the proper advice of a qualified professional, herbal methods can be used in conjunction with other treatment remedies. You can use the herbal remedies together with vitamin and other supplements. It is generally safe and effective.

There is however one setback for using herbal remedies for the treatment of RLS. This setback involves the fact that there have been very few studies that have examined the efficacy, the efficiency and the sustainability of these herbal remedies. Most of the research has also failed to provide the link to what the herb claims to offer and the disorder itself. Sometimes the herbs used in the treatment of restless leg syndrome are those ones which are known to treat other disorders other than RLS.

Conclusion

Restless leg syndrome disorder is a condition that is known to affect the legs of an individual. The legs feel they want to move even when it is not possible to do that. The disorder is not life threatening but causes many untold discomforts. Among the most important discomforts caused include the fact that the syndrome affects sleeping. There are many RLS remedies that are at the sufferers’ disposal. The most common of them is the use of drugs, vitamin supplements and the use of herbs. There are several herbs for RLS. These herbs are guided by the property that they have sedative and soothing effects on the mind and body of the patient. They are also known to have or no side effects on the user. This is one of the reasons why these herbs are popular in the treatment of this health disorder. Restless leg syndrome is not curable but it is highly manageable.

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