A neurological disorder

Restless Legs Syndrome is a neurological disorder that causes people to experience strange and uncomfortable sensations in their legs and arms. RLS can feel like creeping or crawling under the skin, and can be quite painful, causing an irresistible urge to move. These sensations generally arise while lying down or sitting, tend to get worse in the evening and at night, and keep people from resting and relaxing and may even affect sleep.

RLS is more common than you may think

If you think you're the only one suffering from RLS, think again. RLS is one of the most common neurological disorders in North America, affecting up to 23 million American adults. It is estimated that a third have moderate-to-severe RLS. More women than men get RLS, and the likelihood of getting the condition increases with age. Actually RLS has been around for a long time. Also known as Willis-Ekbom disease, it was first described as early as the 17th century by Thomas Willis. In the 1940s, a neurologist named Karl-Axel Ekbom led the first clinical studies, recognizing the negative effects of RLS on sleep and daytime activities.

RLS is one of the most common neurological disorders in North America, affecting up to 23 million American adults.

Symptoms can occur day or night

The main symptoms of RLS—a powerful urge to move and pain or discomfort deep in the legs—can occur at any time of rest, and they can get even worse at night, interfering with sleep. The urge to move can interfere with daily activities and concentration too, since it can be difficult to sit still. One study found that 41% of patients have symptoms every day. It's important to note that for some people RLS is mildly annoying and symptoms don't occur regularly. But for others, RLS can be a life-altering condition that deserves medical attention.

videos

RLS expert Philip M. Becker, MD, talks about this common neurological disorder

Dr. Becker is Medical Director of Sleep Medicine Associates of Texas.

Dr. Becker is a paid consultant of UCB, Inc., manufacturer of NEUPRO® (rotigotine transdermal system).

Diagnosing RLS

There are four key points doctors use to diagnose RLS. They can be described using the word URGE.

Urge to move the legs—sometimes accompanied by uncomfortable sensations deep in the legs that may be described as tingling, creeping, crawling, itching, or burning.

Rest induced—the urge to move gets worse during inactivity such as resting, sitting, or lying down.

Gets better with activity—movement such as walking or stretching brings relief, but unpleasant sensations reappear when you stop.

Evening and night—the urge to move increases in the evening or at night or occurs only in the evening or at night.

If this sounds familiar, you might have RLS. And you're not alone. Talk to your doctor about your symptoms.

Learn more about NEUPRO

Is RLS affecting your life?

Some people have to live their lives around their RLS symptoms. Do you?

See “How Is RLS Affecting You?” to find out >

Prepare for your next doctor's appointment

It's not always easy to pinpoint your feelings and communicate them to your doctor. This tool will help you get started.

Build a conversation by selecting key points from the items below. Any items you selected while using the site have already been added to your list. When you are finished, you can print or email your custom list using the buttons below.

This website does not save items added to My Doctor Conversation Builder. Be sure to print or email your list of questions before leaving this website.

Prepare for your next doctor's appointment

Build a list of key points to discuss with your doctor by selecting items from the list below. Click the "Items to ask my doctor" icon at the top of the screen to view, edit, and print your list at any time.

Assess your RLS

If you think you may have RLS, it's important to understand how much of an effect the condition has on your life. It may have a bigger impact than you realize. Below are some statements that describe how people with RLS can feel. Check the ones that apply to you. This does not take the place of a doctor visit. Only your doctor can diagnose you with RLS.

NEUPRO has been approved by the FDA to treat moderate-to-severe primary RLS and the approval was based on improvements in overall symptom scores in clinical trials. The efficacy of NEUPRO for individual symptoms has not been demonstrated. The following information is provided for your education and to help you understand your disease.

Because of my RLS:

Here's a list of common terms that people with RLS use to describe what's happening in their limbs. Do any of these describe how you're feeling? Check off the descriptions that apply to add them to My Doctor Conversation Builder.

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    It looks like symptoms from RLS affect you when you are trying to rest, relax, or sit still.

    NEUPRO may help.