How Compression Socks Can Help Ease the Symptoms of Restless Leg Syndrome
If you regularly experience an uncontrollable urge to move your legs, you may be diagnosed with restless leg syndrome (RLS). This common condition is characterized by an uncomfortable sensation in the legs and an uncontrollable urge to move the limbs. You may also notice an increase in discomfort at night, as well as relief once you start moving your legs again. It’s even possible to experience nighttime leg twitching or a feeling of pulling, aching, or itching within the limb.
While restless legs can disrupt your life, there are ways you can make yourself more comfortable and reduce your symptoms. Start by talking to your doctor about whether your medicines or health conditions are leading to RLS and if it’s possible to make an adjustment to your treatment. Compression socks for restless leg syndrome are one of the most popular options for relieving discomfort. Learn more below about how they ease symptoms and how to shop for the ideal pair.
Who Gets Restless Leg Syndrome?
Curious why restless legs occur? According to WebMD, RLS often occurs in pregnant women. While the exact cause is unknown, a lack of nutrients such as folic acid or iron may lead to sensations in the legs. Thankfully, for most women, symptoms will go away after delivery.
Other reasons for restless legs include chronic medical conditions like diabetes, kidney disease, and Parkinson’s disease. Some medications, such as antidepressants and antihistamines, have chemical makeups that can cause RLS symptoms to flare.
How Are Restless Legs Treated?
There is a variety of ways to treat RLS. Your method often depends on your health history as well as your daily choices. Your physician may recommend certain lifestyle changes, such as decreasing your use of tobacco or alcohol. According to MedlinePlus, these substances have been linked to RLS.
Natural remedies such as leg massages and hot baths may help. The use of compression socks can also be effective. When pressure is applied to the legs, the National Institute of Health says, it acts as counter-stimuli to the uncomfortable feeling in the legs. Since the compression is more apparent than the throbbing or itching, the level of discomfort often diminishes. Since many patients report some degree of pain as a result of RLS, the right compression wear can also relieve aching legs at night so you can finally get some sleep.
You can also feel better by using a leg rest. Made with cool and comfortable memory foam, these tools feature the right angles for maximum relaxation and pressure relief.
How to Choose Compression Socks for RLS
Whether your doctor recommended compression socks or you want to try them for yourself, there are a variety of products and features available to you. Many people with RLS like to start with compression wear in the 15-20 mmHg compression range. This moderate level of compression provides all the benefits of the therapy without becoming too obstructive.
Graduated compression from knee high socks will provide the perfect amount of pressure in the right places and make your legs feel healthier. As an added bonus, they’ll also help to decrease any swelling in the legs and improve the circulation of blood throughout the lower body.
Extra support and padding ensures you can wear the socks throughout the day or just for a few hours while you rest in the evening. Today’s compression socks for RLS are stylish and come in a variety of colors like black, white, and pink, so they’ll match any outfit.
After finding the right amount of pressure for your preferences and selecting your ideal color, double-check the product’s sizing chart. Your compression wear may not be the same size as your regular socks. Since graduated compression requires a more precise fit, you’ll want to be sure you’re choosing the appropriate size socks for your foot size and RLS needs. Purchase a couple of pairs so you have the freedom to skip laundry day.
Easing Your RLS Symptoms with Compression Wear
Now that you know how compression socks can decrease your uncomfortable RLS symptoms, you’ll feel like you’re moving in a positive direction toward better health. By combining the regular use of these products with smart lifestyle choices and the advice of your doctor, you will find you can manage the symptoms of restless leg syndrome and experience more wellness in your life.
Kaki Zell - Vice President of Sales, Marketing, eCommerce at Legs-4-Life LLC Kaki holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Management from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. She’s been working in the medical device industry for over 11 years and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Greensboro Science Center.
Written January 2020 | Page last updated November 2021
Mayo Clinic. “Restless Legs Syndrome - Symptoms and Causes” https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/restless-legs-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20377168
WebMD. “Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)” https://www.webmd.com/brain/restless-legs-syndrome/restless-legs-syndrome-rls
MedlinePlus. “Restless Legs” https://medlineplus.gov/restlesslegs.html
National Center for Biotechnology Information “Treatment for Restless Legs Syndrome” https://medlineplus.gov/restlesslegs.html