Restless Legs Syndrome Among Pregnant Women


Introduction- Restless legs Syndrome most common neurological movement disorders among pregnant women and mostly show in 3rd trimester of pregnancy.

  • That involves an irrestible urge to move legs at night. This urge tends to be accompanied by unusual feelings or sensations called “Paresthesia” that occur deep in the legs.
  • There uncomfortable sensation after are described by people as burning, tingling, pricking feelings in some people unpleasant feeling become painful.
  • First south Indian urban population study show 2.1 % population suffering from RLS.
  • The prevalence of RLS increase with progression of pregnancy is in 1st trimester 15.6%, 2nd trimester 32.8%, 3rd trimester 38.8%.

Risk factors of Restless Legs Syndrome:-
Non – Modifiable risk factors – Age more then 45, Sex (female are more prone to males), Genetics (More than 50 percent of people with primary RLS report a pattern of the disorder in their family.)

Modifiable risk factors – If a person does smoking, alcohol, tobacco aggravated RLS.
1. If a person takes caffeine or nicotine at night these factors also aggravated RLS.
2. Several medications may precipitate or aggravate RLS, including nonprescription allergy and cold medications that contain antihistamine, most antidepressants and major tranquilizers.
3. First-degree relatives of a person with RLS are three times to six times more likely to have it.
4. Secondary RLS clearly is precipitated by other disorders and resolves when the other disorders are treated.


Self diagnosis criteria for RLS:-
1. You have a strong, often irresistible urge to move your legs, usually accompanied by uncomfortable sensations.
2. Your symptoms start or get worse when you’re resting, such as sitting or lying down.
3. Your symptoms are partially or temporarily relieved by activity, such as walking or stretching.
4. Your symptoms are worse at night.
If you’ve experienced anyone these types of symptoms, you must consult a doctor.

Management Strategies:-
Recent guidelines recommend advice and non-pharmacological management such as physiotherapy interventions that include changing daily habits like avoiding smoking, alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, using less or no CNS stimulant.
1.Self calf stretching with theraband 20 – 30 seconds holding and repeat 10 times.
2. According to symptoms use hot and cold pack every day for 15 minutes and after using hot and cold pack elevate your legs with pillow support.
3. The “Picking Up” massage technique, use before going to bed. Leg massages can help relax your muscles and encourage blood circulation. Massage is frequently recommended as a way of getting relief from restless leg syndrome.
4. deep breathing exercises or sleep hygiene showed higher level of positive outcome in terms of decreasing symptoms and reduce stress levels, anxiety or improve quality of life.

Mr. Ishant Vijay, BPT IV Year, Department of Physiotherapy, School of Health & Allied Sciences, Career Point University, Kota

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