What Causes Restless Legs?

What Causes Restless Legs?

What is restless leg syndrome (RLS) and what causes it?

Whilst the subject of restless legs has been studied extensively, the causes of restless legs still remain a mystery to modern science. The symptoms of restless legs begin in a way that is almost contrary to all other types of pain in the limbs. Most types of leg pain ease when you rest the legs whereas with restless legs the pain gets more intense when you relax. Usually people do not wish to move when in pain whereas with restless legs, you feel noticeably better when you move around.

What are the symptoms of restless legs?

The symptoms of restless legs are variable include:

  • Uncontrollable desire to move legs particularly at night-time.
  • Twitching of the legs and leg muscles.
  • Pain in legs which feels like ‘creepy crawly sensation’.
  • Itching, pulling pain.
  • Symptoms get worse the more you keep your legs still.
  • Inability to sleep at night which subsequently results in fatigue and a lack of concentration during the day.

These varying symptoms are often classified into a concern called Restless Leg Syndrome, or RLS for short. We know that Restless Legs Syndrome is a neurological disorder. Restless Leg Syndrome, also known as Wittmack-Ekbom syndrome may be the result of genetics, low iron levels, folic acid deficiency, thyroid problems, diabetes and/or poor function of the kidneys. There is no cure for Restless Legs Syndrome, but what remains clear is that it is a clear weakness of the nervous and circulatory systems within the body.

Why Cramp bark is good for restless legs

Cramp bark is a small native tree found in Europe and Asia, and its name was derived because it was found that the bark from the tree was good for cramps. Cramp bark, Viburnum opulus, has been traditionally used in herbal medicines to treat painful menstrual cramps, urinary tract pain and abdominal pain because it has the ability to relax smooth muscles such as those found in the intestines and the uterus. It has also been found that Cramp bark relaxes striated muscles; these are the muscles that are found in our legs and arms.

Although not fully understood, scientists believe that restless legs are primarily associated with poor nervous and circulatory systems which results in muscles being cramped and the pain which accompanies this syndrome. Muscles which are relaxed work more efficiently, allowing for enhanced circulation which improves blood flow. The increase in the flow of blood also helps oxygenate the legs and the removal of toxins.

Life-Flo’s Pure Magnesium Oil Spray provides magnesium chloride which is absorbed trans-dermally to relax the nerves that cause cramping and so eases restless legs. 

For those suffering from chronic restless legs, it might also be prudent to use a good circulatory herbal supplement called Diosmin Plus by Food Science of Vermont. Diosmin Plus contains a powerful, safe blend of herbs including Ginger and Horse Chestnut which have a long history of use for improving circulation to the lower limbs. A word of caution; do not take Diosmin Plus if you are taking blood thinning medications such as warfarin and heparin though it is perfectly safe alongside aspirin.