RESTLESS LEGS(Willis-Ekbom disease)- Ayurvedic Treatment, Diet, Exercises, Research Papers, Yoga & Pranayama

Restless legs syndrome (RLS), as the name suggests is a condition where the person is forced by himself and his legs are voluntarily shaken or moved uncontrollably for a long time in a day. It is a nervous system disorder that causes an overpowering urge to move the legs. It’s also known as Willis-Ekbom disease. Symptoms commonly occur in the late afternoon or evening hours, and are often most severe at night when a person is resting, such as sitting or lying in the bed. They also may occur when someone is inactive and sitting for extended periods (for example, when taking a trip by plane or watching a movie). Since symptoms can increase in severity during the night, it could become difficult to fall asleep or return to sleep after waking up. Moving the legs or walking typically relieves the discomfort but the sensations often recur once the movement stops.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

Irresistible urge to move the legs

Uncomfortable sensations in the lower limbs

Pain and aches of muscles of lower limbs

Sleep disturbances

CAUSES

In most cases, the cause of RLS is unknown (called primary RLS).  However, RLS has a genetic component and can be found in families where the onset of symptoms is before age 40.  Specific gene variants have been associated with RLS.  Evidence indicates that low levels of iron in the brain also may be responsible for RLS.

PATHOPHYSIOLOGY

Iron deficiency in the brain causes an abnormality in the dopaminergic system leading to manifestation of RLS. Genetic factors are also important in the development of RLS.

DIAGNOSIS

No specific test.

Clinical evaluation

TREATMENTS

Symptomatic treatment including

Lifestyle changes like proper exercise, sleeping habits etc

Iron supplements

Anti-seizure drugs

Dopaminergic drugs

Opiods

benzodiazepines

PROGNOSIS

RLS is generally a lifelong condition for which there is no cure.  However, current therapies can control the disorder, minimize symptoms, and increase periods of restful sleep.

COMPLICATIONS

Poor quality of life

Irritability

Disease & Ayurveda

There is no single disease name that can be correlated with restless legs syndrome. But as all movements are attributed to the function of Vaatadosha, this condition can be correlated with Vaatavruddhi lakshana being kampa (jerking or shaking type of movements). As it mostly affects the hip and lower limbs, the sthaana(site) is Vaatika.

Nidana

Dhaatukshaya(degeneration)

Aavarana (obstruction to channels in the body)

Purvaaroopa

Not mentioned

Samprapti

Due to the causative factors Vaata gets vitiated and gets lodged in the lower limbs, especially nerves & muscles, causing the signs & symptoms.

Lakshana

Kampa – uncontrollable movements

Associated symptoms like pain in the calf muscles(pindikodweshtrana) and sleep disturbances can be due to Vaata dosha vitiation.

Divisions

Not mentioned

Prognosis

Saadhya when the disease is new

Krichrasadhya when the disease is chronic

Chikithsa

Samana

Lepana with soolaharadravyas

Parisheka with warm soolahara-sothahara dravyas

Upanaha with Vaataharadravyas

Sirodhara with Vaatahara taila

Sodhana

Sneha (Abhyanga)

Sweda (Potalisweda)

Vasti

Virechana

Raktamokshana

Daahakarma

Commonly used medicines

        Maharasnadi kashayam

Sahacharadi kashayam

Rasnerandadi kashayam

Aswagandhachoornam

Kapikacchu choornam

Guggulutiktakaghrutam

Brands available

AVS Kottakal

AVP Coimbatore

SNA Oushadhasala

Vaidyaratnam oushadhasala

Home remedies

Medical professionals suggest the following to ease pain & other disturbances in the legs:

  • Stop the activity that caused the cramp.
  • Stretch and massage the muscle.
  • Hold the leg in the stretched position until the cramp stops.
  • Apply heat to muscles that are tight or tense.
  • Use cold packs on tender muscles.

Diet

  • To be avoided

Drink enough liquids. Ensure enough hydration.

Heavy meals and difficult to digest foods – cause indigestion.

Junk foods- cause disturbance in digestion and reduces the bioavailability of the medicine

Carbonated drinks – makes the stomach more acidic and disturbed digestion

Refrigerated and frozen foods – causes weak and sluggish digestion by weakening Agni (digestive fire)

Milk and milk products – increase kapha and cause obstruction in channels

Curd – causes vidaaha and thereby many other diseases

  • To be added

Light meals and easily digestible foods

Green gram, soups, sesame oil.

Freshly cooked and warm food processed with cumin seeds, ginger, black pepper, ajwain etc

Behaviour:

Protect yourself from very hot & cold climates.

Better to avoid exposure to excessive sunlight wind rain or dust.

Avoid lifting heavy weights and other vigorous physical activities.

Maintain a regular food and sleep schedule.

Avoid holding or forcing the urges like urine, faeces, cough, sneeze etc.

Yoga

Vigorous exercises are not allowed in painful conditions.

Only stretching, moderate walking, and mild cardio exercises are advised. Also, specific yogacharya including bhujangaasana, salabhasana, vajrasana is recommended. Caution must be there to consider the range of movement and flexibility. 

Regular exercise helps improve bioavailability of the medicine and food ingested and leads to positive health.

Yoga can maintain harmony within the body and with the surrounding system.

Salabhasana

Vajrasana

Bhujangasana

Exercises For Leg Pain

All the exercises and physical exertions must be decided and done under the supervision of a medical expert only.

Research articles

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3122/jabfm.2011.04.100173

A double-blinded, randomized controlled trial was done to examine whether bupropion would improve the symptoms of RLS, or at least not exacerbate them. Twenty-nine participants with moderate to severe RLS received 150 mg sustained-release bupropion once daily, and 31 control participants received a placebo. Participants were followed for 6 weeks and completed standardized tools, including the International Restless Legs Syndrome Study Group (IRLSSG) severity scale.

Bupropion was more effective than placebo in the treatment of RLS at 3 weeks; however, the difference was not statistically significant at 6 weeks.

The study concluded that bupropion does not exacerbate the symptoms of RLS and may be a reasonable choice if an antidepressant is needed in individuals with RLS.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, United States. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please consult your GP before the intake.

Dr. Rajesh Nair, Ayurveda Expert

Writer:
Dr. Rajesh Nair, the co-founder and chief consultant of Ayurvedaforall.Com, is a graduate of prestigious Vaidyaratnam Ayurveda College (affiliated with the University of Calicut), Kerala, India. Additionally, he holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Yoga Therapy from Annamalai University.

Dr. Nair offers consultation at two busy clinics in and around Haripad, Alleppey, Kerala, the southern state famous worldwide for authentic ayurvedic treatment and physicians. While offering consultation on all aspects of ayurvedic treatments Dr. Nair has a special interest in Panchkarma, Yoga, and Massage.

Through Ayurvedaforall Dr. Nair offers online consultation to patients worldwide and has served hundreds of patients over the last 20 years. In addition to his Ayurvedic practice, he is the chief editor of ayurveda-amai.org, the online portal of Ayurveda Medical Association of India, and the state committee member of Ayurveda Medical Association of India.

Dr. Nair is a regular speaker at Ayurveda-related conferences and has visited Germany to propagate Ayurveda. You can write directly to him-
rajesh@ayurvedaforall.com

Whatsapp – +91 9446918019, +91 8075810816

URLs: https://www.ayurvedaforall.com/
https://www.ayurvedaforall.co.uk/

To give you a quick idea about Ayurvedaforall, we are a group of ayurvedic practitioners committed to propagating Ayurveda in its best tradition around the world. Our online store sells authentic ayurvedic formulations backed by professional advice. Now into the seventeenth year of operation, the site has helped us build a dedicated clientele which regularly uses our products and services as well as refers others to us. Needless to say, this has been achieved through our adherence to the highest standards of customer service and professional ethics.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s