Restless legs syndrome, is a common sensorimotor disorder characterized by a strong, nearly irresistible urge to move the legs when the patient is at rest. The currently accepted definitions of adult RLS from the international Restless Syndrome Study Group (IRLSSG) and the International Classification of Sleep Disorders, second edition (ICSD- 2), are described below. All these features are necessary to make the diagnosis in adults and children.
An urge to move the legs is usually accompanied or caused by uncomfortable paresthesias and/or pain in the legs. When the paresthesias are not present, patients may only state that they are uncomfortable with inactivity, and as such, they have to move the legs. Many of these patients cannot precisely describe this inactivity or discomfort. Put simply, quietness drives the patient to move.
The urge to move or unpleasant sensations begin or worsen during periods of rest or inactivity, such as while lying or sitting. The urge to move may not be restricted to the legs but also extends to other parts of the body, mainly the arms.
The urge to move or unpleasant sensations are partially or totally relieved by movements such as walking or stretching, as long as the activity continues.
Last date updated on June, 2014