Regular, moderate exercise is usually prescribed as a treatment for easing your Restless leg syndrome symptoms.
For example, taking a short, easy walk before bedtime and doing some gentle stretching may help. However if your exercises are too rigorous it may make your overall symptoms worsen.
Here is how exercise affects RLS:
- RLS disappears with movement but returns during relaxation.
- RLS symptoms depend on the time of day so exercise earlier in the day.
- Dopamine levels are shown to affect RLS so avoid rigorous exercise.
- Light Exercise is the way to go.
RLS disappears with movement but returns during relaxation
The symptoms and sensations connected to restless leg syndrome symptoms tend to go away with movement and return during periods of rest and relaxation.
Someone with RLS May feel the symptoms disappear during their movement and exercise only to return after exercise is finished.
Comparatively It may feel like the sensations are worse, but they may only seem worse because they disappeared and came back again.
Also after exercise you are usually resting and less active , and the decreased amount of muscle activity makes the symptoms worse.
Restless Leg Syndrome Symptoms often show up later in the day
Restless leg syndrome symptoms worsen at night and often shows up alongside periodic limb movement disorder, a disorder that the National Sleep Foundation describes as a continuous twitching or cramping of the legs that usually shows symptoms later in the day.
People who tend to workout in the late afternoon or evening may be exercising during the time when the symptoms are most active coincidentally.
The RLS symptoms seem to appear after the exercise, but in reality would have had the same occurrence of sensations if they hadn’t even exercised.
Light exercise promotes Dopamine levels while rigorous exercise doesn’t
The causes of restless leg syndrome have been linked to decreased levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine but it’s not fully understood by the medical research community.
It is proven that exercise can temporarily increase dopamine levels, which is why light exercise is effective in alleviating symptoms of restless leg syndrome, but very rigorous exercise can have the opposite effect.
Over exertion of the muscles contributes to restlessness during sleep or insomnia due to the release of the stress hormone epinephrine.
This stress hormone will not only agitate your symptoms but rob you of the rest your body needs.
Light Exercise and Restless Leg Syndrome
A balanced regimen of light exercise is an effective treatment for RLS However,If exercise seems to be making the symptoms worse, try adjusting the intensity of your workouts to ensure that you are over exerting yourself.
If that doesn’t help, you may be required to move your exercise earlier in the day or trying to stay more active after workout sessions.
Alcohol, tobacco and caffeine have been shown to trigger Restless leg syndrome symptoms so reducing or stopping use of these drugs should help.
Consult your doctor about making changes in your diet to correct deficiencies in magnesium and iron says Harvard Health and folic acid.