This disorder causes a very unpleasant, irresistible urge to move the legs at rest or at bedtime that is only relieved by movement of the effected limbs. Up to 10% of the U.S. population may have RLS. Many people have a mild form of the disorder, but RLS severely affects the lives of millions of individuals. In order for you to be officially diagnosed with RLS, you must meet the criteria described in the four bullets below.
- You have a strong urge to move your legs which you may not be able to resist. The need to move is often accompanied by uncomfortable sensations. Some words used to describe these sensations include: creeping, itching, pulling, creepy-crawly, tugging or gnawing.
- Your RLS symptoms start or become worse when you are resting. The longer you are resting, the greater the chance the symptoms will occur and the more severe they are likely to be.
- Your RLS symptoms get better when you move your legs. The relief can be complete or only partial but generally starts very soon after starting an activity. Relief persists as long as the motor activity continues.
- Your RLS symptoms are worse in the evening especially when you are lying down. Activities that bother you at night do not bother you during the day.