It Is More Than Nerves When Your Legs Shake

Just as you're about to fall asleep, your legs begin to jitter. The only way to get them to stop is to walk around. You could have restless legs syndrome, which people describe as a deep-seated, creeping, crawling, ji
Just as you're about to fall asleep, your legs begin to jitter. The only way to get them to stop is to walk around. You could have restless legs syndrome, which people describe as a deep-seated, creeping, crawling, jittery, tingling, burning or aching feeling in the calves, thighs, feet, or less frequently, arms.Restless legs syndrome doesn't lead to other serious medical conditions but the symptoms can range from bothersome to incapacitating. If jumpy legs are keeping you awake at night, see your doctor. Doctors don't know what causes the restless legs syndrome but prescription medications can be used to manage symptoms.

The November 2004 issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter offers at-home techniques that may help quiet restless legs, too:



  • Take nonprescription pain relievers.
  • Soak in a warm bath.
  • Massage the legs.
  • Learn to relax, especially before bed. Stress can aggravate symptoms.
  • Stretch your legs at the beginning and end of the day.
  • Try heat or cold packs - or alternate between the two.
  • Get regular exercise, but avoid overdoing it or working out late in the day.
  • Cut back on caffeine, alcohol and tobacco, all of which may aggravate or trigger symptoms.
  • Go to bed later. While fatigue may worsen symptoms, adjusting to a later bedtime can help relieve symptoms.
  • Stay busy until bedtime. Boredom or drowsiness before bed may worsen symptoms. PregnancyAndBaby.com
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