Restless legs & PLMS

As the name suggests, restless legs is when someone has an annoying feeling in their legs or sometimes their arms and they feel compelled to move them to get some relief.  When these occur at night, they are termed periodic leg movement syndrome (PLMS) and can be readily identified with a diagnostic sleep study.  Leg movements are often a marker that there is snoring and sleep apnoea but they may also coexist with insomnia.  There are commonly used medications which can also bring on or worsen leg movements

A proper assessment is initially undertaken to look at the effects of stress, psychological illness, relevant blood tests, as well as general and neurological health which may underlie leg movements.  A sleep test is usually required to define the abnormality and determine whether it’s primary or secondary.  Thereafter, effective treatments depend somewhat on the underlying cause and involve supplements by mouth, basic manoeuvres, specific medications and/or rearrangement of medications.  We may also ask a neurology specialist to help.