This Syndrome Can Drive You Absolutely Crazy.
I mean Nuts! Most people that have this syndrome dread trying to fall asleep at night. Like all syndromes, depending on who you talk to, you will get a different cause and a different solution. I always look for the holistic solution, one that works-with-the-body.
My curiosity with restless leg syndrome started many years ago when my uncle Eddie came to town for a visit. At the time, he was 76 years old and grumpy. It turns out that he was grumpy because he wasn’t sleeping. After a few questions he told me that he had been to several doctors over a period of 6 months for Restless Leg Syndrome. He said that each doctor he went to put him on a different medication, none of which helped him.
In my opinion, Restless Leg Syndrome is a vasculature (blood flow) problem. Not enough blood flow! Think about this, what do you do when your hand falls asleep? You shake it. What do you do if your arm goes to sleep? You shake it. What does shaking do? Simple, it helps to restore blood flow.
Years earlier I had watched a program on PBS about exercise. The program was full of great stuff. All the latest findings. One of the interesting findings was how age effects our muscle’s ability to grow and become stronger. The exercise physiologists did an experiment. The purpose of the experiment was simply to see how an 84 year old’s muscle would respond to exercise, compared to a 17 year old’s muscle. Muscle volume of each individuals thigh muscle was measured using a CT scan before and after 6 weeks of training. The results were astonishing. The 84 year old and the 17 year old’s muscle volume increased the same amount. Proof that exercise works at any age.
What does this have to do with Restless Leg Syndrome? Everything!
My thinking with my uncle Eddie was this, if muscle can respond at any age, so can the vasculature. My uncles primary complaint was in his calf muscles. I told him that I had a hunch of how to remedy his problem. He was skeptical. After all, he had gone to all the medical specialist in his area and nothing helped. I told him that I wanted him to start doing calf raises several times a day. He was to do them in a specific way. I did not give him a number of reps to do, I only told him to do them until his calf muscles started to burn then he was to stop. I told him to do this a minimum of 5 times a day for 6 weeks. Several months later he came back to Ohio for a visit. He walked up to me smiling, it worked! I said what worked? He said I did the exercises you told me to do, within 3 weeks my legs stopped bothering me at night and I have continued to do them every day.
Below is a short video demonstrating how to do calf raises. I always tell people to do them on the stairs while holding on to the bannister for stability. It is important that you allow your heels to drop all the way down and it is equally important to go all the way up into a complete contraction. You continue doing these until you feel a burn then stop. The purpose of this is to increase blood flow and over time create collateral circulation.
Since then I have had many patients get wonderful results by doing the same thing.
Please let me know how this works for you.
Yours in Health!