Restless legs syndrome and nocturnal leg cramps: A review and guide to diagnosis and treatment

Philip W. Tipton, Zbigniew K Wszolek

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) and nocturnal leg cramps (NLCs) are common disorders affecting 7.0% and 24.1% of the population in some European countries, respectively. Patients suffering from RLS experience uncomfortable nocturnal sensations in the legs with the urge to move that dissipates while moving. NLC is characterized by abrupt muscle contraction, most often in the gastrocnemius or foot muscles, which occurs at night and may result in significant sleep disturbances. The diagnosis of these disorders has presented a challenge to health care providers because of symptom overlap with other sensory and mo‑ tor disturbances with nocturnal predominance. Treatment options and approaches are lacking, partially because of our currently incomplete understanding of the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying these conditions. We reviewed the medical literature to provide a comprehensive assessment of RLS and NLC with a focus on improved diagnostic accuracy and treatment approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)865-872
Number of pages8
JournalPolish Archives of Internal Medicine
Volume127
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

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Keywords

  • Nocturnal leg cramps
  • Periodic limb movements
  • Restless legs syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine

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