Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine October 15th , printed a study which had revealed that adults patients with fibromyalgia have a greater predominance and risk of restless leg syndrome (RLS) than healthy controls. The study advocates that the treatment of RLS could improve sleep and quality of life for those with fibromyalgia.
Findings had revealed that the predominance of RLS was nearly ten times greater in the fibromyalgia group (33%) than among control groups(3.1%). After analytical adjustments of age, gender and ethnicity, persons with fibromyalgia were 11 times more possible to have RLS than controls at a ratio of 11 to 2. Substantial sleep disruption was reported by persons with fibromyalgia using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, Insomnia Severity Index and Epworth Sleepiness Scale. In the patients with fibromyalgia sleep were greater in those who had RLS.
Dr. Nathaniel F. Watson, associate professor of neurology at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington stated sleep disturbances are usual in fibromyalgia and very difficult to treat most of the times. It is evident from their study that a major part of sleep disturbance in fibromyalgia is due to RLS.
Dr. Watson and head writer Dr. Mari Viola-Saltzman of Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Illinois had lead the research team. The researchers studied 172 persons with fibromyalgia who had an average age of fifty and 93% were female. They were compared to 63 healthy controls with the average age of 41 years.
Fibromyalgia was determined by self report or medical records and confirmed on exam according to the published guidelines regarding the presence of chronic pain which is widespread. Pain was evaluated by subjective report and objective measurements with a doloirmeter which is a spring loaded gauge that is used to apply standardized amounts of pressure to tender points on arms and legs.
Based on information from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, fibromyalgia can cause considerable pain and fatigue. Current estimates indicate that five million Americans 18 and older and between 80 and 90 percent of those diagnosed with fibromyalgia are women. Fibromyalgia cause is still not known.
RLS was diagnosed by using self administered, certified questionnaire. RLS is a sleep associated movement disorder which involves the urge to move the legs that most of the time occurs with or caused by painful and displeasing feeling in the legs. This impulse starts or becomes worse during times of rest or when inactive, in part or totally resolved by movement, along with becoming worse and only happening at nighttime. RLS 1.5 to two times more in women than men.
Dr. Watson indicated that treating RLS just possibly is one of the key ways to decrease fatigue and improve quality of life for those persons with fibromyalgia. RLS is often treated by medications such as pramipexole.
Due to the fact RLS can be treated, diagnosing and treating RLS in fibromyalgia holds the possibility for fibromyalgia patients to have improved sleep.
According to researchers, the cross-sectional nature of the study did not make allowances for examination of causality. However, several features of two syndromes advocate a logical overlap. Both of these disorders consist of sensory abnormalities and alike pathophysiology of the system which maintains the neurotransmitter dopamine has been suggested for both disorders. Also, RLS could be induced by antidepressants, which are usually used for the treatment of pain and depression for fibromyalgia. Exercise has been noted to improve the symptoms of both disorders.
Many persons today with RLS and fibromyalgia seek alternative treatments in lieu of medications which at first may work but have been noted not to provide long term relief. Some of the top alternative treatments are listed below.
Chiropractic care has become most noted for persons with fibromyalgia and RLS. It has shown dramatic results in decreasing pain and improving quality of life and most of the times eliminating the symptoms of RLS.
Research has shown that RLS is related to the Peripheral Nervous System that includes the nerves extending from lower back to legs.
Chiropractic care employes a variety of techniques including spinal adjustments, therapeutic massage, exercises and tens units. It has been noted that in 65% of patients have seen total relief of RLS just after one month of chiropractic treatments.
Acupuncture has been used to relieve the symptoms of RLS. Acupuncture views RLS as a disorder in the spleen. Acupuncture treatments have been known to decrease the need for medications and have been effective when combined with another alternative treatment such as chiropractic.
Chinese Herbal Formulas
RopinoHerb RLS is based on Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan. This formula provides nourishment to the Kidney yin in order to cool the heat in the heart which causes restlessness.
RopinoHerb PLMD for off and on again limb movement disorders. This formula is based on Da Ding Feng Zhu. The formula gives nourishment to Yin and sedates wind in order to address the jerky movements associated with the internal wind.
Magnesium relaxes your muscles and nerves. Magnesium Citrate should be taken at 250mg two or three times each day.
Iron deficiencies are very common with RLS. Ferrous Sulphate at 200mg three times each day has been clinically proven to aide RLS.
Foods can also be consumed which are rich in iron such as oats, bananas, blackberries,nuts, mushrooms and potatoes.
Vitamin B6 aides in maintaining normal nerve functioning. Supplements of 25 to 50mg each day.
Folic acid deficiencies have also been noted in RLS patients. Dosage is 400mcgs a day not milligrams but micro grams.
Valerian root, passion flower and Hops have all been noted to aide for RLS.Sources:
Medical News Today
Dr. Jack Adrian
Medical Key Words
Beyond Well Being
Dr. Alan Migdalewicz