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Restless Leg Syndrome
November 5, 2001 7:33 AM   Subscribe

Restless Leg Syndrome has happened to me while watching tv, and it happens to a lot of people. Has it happened to you? It's a real affliction! Granted, it's more severe for the people who are seeking out help, but this definately fell into my "there's a support group for everything" file.
posted by fnirt (19 comments total)

 
Yeah, it's happened to me. It's actually quite high up on the list of shitty things to happen on a long flight (not n.1, obviously).

I'm not sure that I need a support group to 'share' my discomfort with however. :-|
posted by bifter at 7:56 AM on November 5, 2001


I was told it was caused by excessive self-abuse. I am not sure if this is the case or not. I have esxperimented and stopped my nasty habits but was unable to carry out the xperiment for more than three days so I can not gve hard evidence.
posted by Postroad at 8:00 AM on November 5, 2001


wrong leg, postroad.
posted by quonsar at 8:04 AM on November 5, 2001


I've had this for years, but learned it was a known syndrome just a few weeks ago. The usual things help it: more exercise and stretching, less caffeine and booze.

Regarding support groups, some folks have it really bad, leading to chronic insomnia. If people want to get together to figure out the problem, what's wrong with that?
posted by billder at 8:17 AM on November 5, 2001


Thanks for the leg up on this support group as I've spent many a restless night looking for them.
posted by marc-hamilton at 8:19 AM on November 5, 2001


i wonder if restless leg syndrome is a big problem is afghanistan or somalia or india? restless leg syndrome... *sigh* ...
posted by ggggarret at 8:30 AM on November 5, 2001


I never knew there was an official name for this. I get it a lot at night - not so much that it keeps me awake, but I often feel that I have to stretch my legs a bit before I feel comfortable.

It's one of those things that I don't really notice unless I'm sharing a bed with someone else. Recall the Seinfeld "Jimmy Leg" episode for more regarding this.
posted by aladfar at 8:44 AM on November 5, 2001


I used to bounce my right leg a little when sat at the dinner table as a teenager, thus adding some weight to Postroad's theory. I've long since quit though (leg bouncing and the majority of the self abuse). My family used to think there was a small earthquake going on whenever I was hard at it (just the leg bouncing this time).

I like the picture of the woman on the front page of the site. With our treatment plan you too can stand still long enough to paint a picture that actually looks like something.
posted by vbfg at 8:45 AM on November 5, 2001


Postroad, that's called Restless Third-leg Syndrome
posted by fooljay at 9:39 AM on November 5, 2001


Yeah, ggggarret... I wonder if the somalis or the afghans have a chance to cynically write off other people's chronic discomforts in message boards.

(It's worth noting that RLS can actually be quite serious, as noted above. Maybe not as serious as the quest for basic sustenance, though -- so, I guess in that sense, I suppose you're right. Of course, one might imagine that many things in your own life that are actually quite trivial).
posted by ph00dz at 9:39 AM on November 5, 2001


"One report indicates that medications used to treat depression increase the symptoms of RLS. Ironically, some people seem to have an improvement in their symptoms of RLS with the use of antidepressive medications. It is more often the case, however, that the use of antidepressive medications worsens the symptoms of RLS."

Yet another case of unexpected, unpleasant, and unintended consequences!
posted by Carol Anne at 9:50 AM on November 5, 2001


I'm not alone! I've gotten a lot of crazy looks from people when I've said "I have restless legs." I did meet one guy who got the feeling too, except he called it "claustrophobic legs." That has a nice ring to it.
posted by witchstone at 10:31 AM on November 5, 2001


I've called it "Happy Feet" Every once in a while before bed, I'd have to shake my legs or walk for a bit to stop the discomfort. Now I know what it is.....
posted by Lanternjmk at 10:56 AM on November 5, 2001


Interestingly enough, I recently attended a lecture about the use of gabapentin (Neurontin) for treatment of various neurologic disorders - tardive dyskinesia, restless leg syndrome, etc.

The best person to diagnose/treat this disorder, if needed, would be a neurologist.
posted by sillygit at 11:40 AM on November 5, 2001


Somehow, knowing that this is a real ailment, Robert Klein's "I Can't Stop My Leg" bit is a bit less funny. I hate it when real life interferes with good comedy.
posted by Dreama at 12:03 PM on November 5, 2001


After they declared Dr. Strangelove's anarchic hand an existent disease, nothing else seems to surprise me anymore.
posted by Danelope at 12:42 PM on November 5, 2001


Robert Klein? Wasn't that Steve Martin?
posted by fooljay at 2:29 AM on November 6, 2001


No, it was Robert Klein. "I Can't Stop My Leg" premiered on an SNL episode in 1975. In his last HBO special, he did the "I Can't Stop My Leg 2000 Megamix" complete with backup dancers in booty shorts. It was pretty hip, all things considered. (Pun unintentional.)
posted by Dreama at 4:29 AM on November 6, 2001


I always called it the "stretchies" until a few months ago when I came across the syndome on some site. Yes, it's not life-threatening, but damn is it annoying. I get it when I'm extremely tired and drinking alcohol definitely exacerbates it.

It's nice to give this thing a name and know that my legs aren't just insane, even if it seems (to some people) not to be a very important ailment. (Trust me: I got some rolled-eyes when I declared myself a restless legs syndrome sufferer.)
posted by faunafrailty at 3:09 PM on November 6, 2001


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