Nervous System Home > RLS Symptoms
Common restless legs syndrome (RLS) symptoms include an uncomfortable sensation in the legs and an irresistible urge to move about when at rest. Symptoms are often described as burning, creeping, tugging, or like insects crawling inside the legs. Signs and symptoms of RLS vary from person to person and range in severity from uncomfortable to painful.
Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a neurological disorder characterized by an unpleasant sensation in the legs and an almost uncontrollable urge to move when at rest in an effort to relieve these feelings.
People with symptoms of RLS feel uncomfortable sensations in their legs, especially when sitting or lying down. These uncomfortable sensations are usually accompanied by an irresistible urge to move about, and usually occur deep inside the leg, between the knee and ankle. However, in rare cases, the sensations occur in the feet, thighs, arms, and hands. Although the sensations can occur on just one side of the body, they usually affect both sides of the body.
Symptoms are often described as burning, creeping, tugging, or like insects crawling inside the legs. The sensations range in severity from uncomfortable to painful,and are often called paresthesias (abnormal sensations) or dysesthesias (unpleasant abnormal sensations).
People who have symptoms of RLS often keep their legs in motion to minimize or prevent the painful sensations.
Most people find that RLS symptoms are less noticeable during the day and more pronounced in the evening or at night. Other situations that may trigger symptoms include periods of inactivity, such as long car trips, sitting in a movie theater, long-distance flights, immobilization in a cast, or relaxation exercises.