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Restless Legs SyndromeWhat are the symptoms?

Patients use various words to describe the abnormal leg sensations caused by RLS.

Common RLS symptoms (as described by patients)

Four key signs of restless legs syndrome

There are four key signs of RLS. If you are experiencing these, you may have restless legs syndrome.

  1. 1Unpleasant sensations in the legs that cause an irresistible urge to move them
    Unpleasant feelings deep in the legs, rather than on the surface. Often discomfort is felt in both legs, but sometimes only in one. As RLS progresses, symptoms may occur in other parts of the body.
  2. 2Symptoms appear or intensify during periods of rest or inactivity such as lying down or sitting
    Symptoms often appear from a few minutes to an hour after sitting or lying down. They prevent the person from sitting for long periods of time, make it hard to concentrate at work or in class, and may even cause pain when taking a train or a flight.
  3. 3Moving the legs provides some relief from the unpleasant sensations
    By activating the legs in ways such as thumping or massaging them, or by walking, symptoms usually subside for a while. In fact, moving any part of the body can provide symptom relief. Usually the symptoms come back after the body stops moving.
  4. 4Symptoms get stronger from the evening into the night
    Symptoms appear in the evening and tend to get stronger as the night continues. Typically, the symptom intensity increases during the course of the day.
    As the disease progresses, symptoms may appear in the day time.