Shaking Leg Syndrome

An Overview of Shaking Leg Syndrome

Shaking Leg Syndrome, which is also referred to as Restless Leg Syndrome or more formally, Wittmaack Ekbom’s Syndrome is a condition in which a person has an overwhelming urge to move the legs.  In addition, someone with this syndrome will feel strange sensations, which is usually felt in the legs but sometimes, the sensations can also be felt in the arms, feet, and torso.  To find relief, the individual will move the legs, which helps but only temporarily.

The sensation a person with Shaking Leg Syndrome feels varies with some saying it feels as if the legs are burning, some experience more of a tickling feeling, and yet others state the legs itch.  Sometimes, a person will end up having permanent relief while other times, the condition can last for years or even a lifetime.  Regardless if a person feels one or all three sensations with this condition, it is not only annoying but in many cases, it can actually be debilitating.

As far as who is at risk for developing the condition, it can start in early childhood or as an adult.  Obviously, when Shaking Leg Syndrome develops as an adult, it is still uncomfortable or even painful, but the symptoms can be comprehended and dealt with better than when the problem develops in a child.  Having a small child experiencing the sensation of bugs crawling up the legs, numbness, pain, itching, etc is very difficult for the child and the parents.

To get relieve, most people have discovered that walking helps the most.  In addition to this activity, people have had good luck with biking, swimming, yoga, and stretching but no matter the choice the sensations associated with this particular physical disorder are still only temporary.  Typically, the individual would need to try a variety of activities, finding one or several that reduce the sensations most.

Then, the symptoms associated with this condition can be triggered by several things.  For instance, being idle while watching a movie while lying on the sofa, sleeping at night, flying on a plane, or sitting all day at a desk job, are all potential triggers.  Unlike many other health problems where rest and relaxation is the key to getting better, with Shaking Leg Syndrome, this magnifies the problem.

Unfortunately, the actual cause is unknown.  Then, whether symptoms begin while a child or in adulthood, usually between 40 and 45 years of age, it is common for the sensations to worsen with age.  Interestingly, many children with this condition are actually given a wrong diagnosis of just having growing pains when in truth, something more serious is going on.  Studies have also shown that some prescription medications and even illnesses can exacerbate the problem.  However, the one thing that has been discovered is that approximately 60% of people with this problem have inherited it as an autosomal dominant condition.

Diagnosis of Shaking Leg Syndrome involves the doctor looking at the person’s medical history, coupled with a full physical examination.  Additionally, several tests can be done for a confirmed diagnosis.  Then for treatment, first line drugs are often used.  This used along with other treatments have given people hope.  In fact, cure is possible if the underlying triggers can be identified and then treated effectively.