You might be watching a movie, sitting in an airplane, or lying in bed when the symptoms of restless legs come on. People have described the uncomfortable urge to move their legs as an achiness, an itch that can’t be scratched, as a throbbing or painful cramping or, more simply, as pain. It’s annoying, and for some people it can interfere with sleep, job performance, and relationships.
They might get relief when they move their legs, or get up and walk, but the urge could come back again.
“Restless legs certainly can lower the quality of your life,” says neurologist Brian Koo, MD, director of the Yale Medicine Program for Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) and an internationally recognized RLS expert. “Luckily, even though we don’t know what causes restless legs, it’s very treatable,” Dr. Koo says.