Preparing for your appointmentBy Mayo Clinic Staff
If you have signs and symptoms of restless legs syndrome, make an appointment with your doctor. After an initial evaluation, he or she may refer you to a doctor who specializes in conditions affecting the nervous system (neurologist) or a sleep specialist.
Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment.
Information to gather in advance
- Write down your symptoms, including when they started and when they tend to occur.
- Write down key medical information, including other conditions you have and any prescription or over-the-counter medications you're taking, including vitamins and supplements. Also note whether there's a history of restless legs syndrome in your family.
- Take a family member or friend along. Someone who accompanies you may remember information you missed or forgot.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor.
Some basic questions to ask your doctor about restless legs syndrome, include:
- What is the most likely cause of my signs and symptoms?
- Are there other possible causes?
- What tests do I need?
- What treatment options are available for this condition?
- I have other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
- What self-care steps might improve my symptoms?
- Do you have educational materials I can have? What websites do you recommend?
- Where can I find a support group for people with restless legs syndrome?
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, including:
- Do you get an irresistible urge to move your legs?
- What words describe your symptoms?
- Do your symptoms start while you're sitting or lying down?
- Are your symptoms worse at night?
- Does movement make you feel better?
- Have you been told that you kick, shake or otherwise move your legs while sleeping?
- Do you often have trouble falling or staying asleep?
- Are you tired during the day?
- Does anyone else in your family have restless legs?
- How much caffeine do you have daily?
- What is your typical exercise program?
What you can do in the meantime
To ease your symptoms, try:
Dec. 10, 2014
- Cutting back on or eliminating caffeine, alcohol and tobacco.
- Massaging your legs while soaking in a warm bath.
- Restless legs syndrome. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/restless_legs/detail_restless_legs.htm. Accessed Nov. 30, 2014.
- Tarsy D. Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of restless leg syndrome in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Nov. 30, 2014.
- Tarsy D. Treatment of restless leg syndrome in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Nov. 30, 2014.
- Garcia-Borreguero D, et al. The long-term treatment of restless legs syndrome/Willis-Ekbom disease: Evidence-based guidelines and clinical consensus best practice guidance: A report from the International Restless Legs Syndrome Study Group. Sleep Medicine. 2013;14:675.
- Silber, MH, et al. Willis-Ekbom Foundation revised consensus statement on the management of restless legs syndrome. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 2013;88:977.