Case Studies

RESTLESS LEG SYNDROME 

1st August 2017

i watched a programme on television about Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) and was fascinated by how it appears to be only in severe cases that it can also affect the arms. I also didn't appreciate that it can affect 1 in 10 people.

From my musculo-skeletal background, it set me wondering whether doctors were looking at other possible causes such as "irritability" of the sciatic nerve which supplies the legs. I have seen patients with definite low back problems who reported similar symptoms of occasional uncontrolled movements in the legs.

From a conversation with one of my other patients, I saw one of their relatives who had suffered with Restless Leg Syndrome for about 10 years. A detailed clinical examination showed that they had a definite sacro-pelvic problem, which could well have caused a chronic, low grade irritation of the sciatic nerve. I treated them (at no cost because I didn't know whether it would make any difference) and that one session resolved the RLS leaving only an occasional twitch in one toe. This result has lasted for more than a month now and I am not sure who is more surprised! I will continue to monitor their progress to make sure the result is permanent.

If there is anybody else out there with RLS, I would be very interested in trying to repeat the process and hopefully build a series of case studies to demonstrate that low back problems are a possible cause of this distressing condition.