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New Rest for the Restless

December 20, 2013

New Rest for the Restless

Having trouble getting a restful night’s sleep because of restless legs? Researchers at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in the USA have discovered that pneumatic compression devices used to prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT) can relieve the symptoms of restless leg syndrome.

Restless leg syndrome (RLS), also known as Willis-Ekbom Disease (WED) or Wittmaack-Ekborn syndrome) affects between 7-10% of the general population of North America and Europe and is characterized by an irresistible urge to move one’s limbs to stop uncomfortable sensations, most noticeable while trying to fall asleep. These twitches can affect your quality of sleep, preventing deep REM sleep, leaving sufferers feeling tired, unfocused and irritable during the day.

Previously the only treatment available was medication and these were often expensive or prescription only. The new treatment process involves inflating a device every minute for a few seconds, putting pressure on the legs aimed at stimulating the muscles and nerves and improving circulation, with results within a month of use. 

Researchers claim that the new treatment system decreased symptoms, and patients exhibited less severe symptoms, slept better and were less fatigued, with 50% having complete resolution of symptoms and 33% no longer needing medication.

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