Sensory symptoms in restless legs syndrome: the enigma of pain.
Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a sensorimotor disorder characterised by an urge to move the limbs. Two forms of RLS are characterized. Primary RLS: often considered idiopathic and with a genetic origin and Secondary RLS: Often occurring with another medical condition.
RLS is often diagnosed based on patient report of the following features:
1. Urge to move the limbs often with unpleasant or uncomfortable sensations;
2. Symptoms begin or worsen during rest;
3. Symptoms only occur or worsening in the night;
4. Symptoms are relieved by movement.
Patients often find difficulties in describing there sensations and the presence of distinct uncomfortable or unpleasant sensations are generally not required for diagnosis. Given the varied descriptions of RLS, misdiagnosis is likely to be common.
Chronic pain and RLS share some similarities in sensory manifestations and often occurs together with chronic pain and neuropathic conditions. This makes it more difficult to make the distinction between several (sensory) symptoms. Nevertheless, the sensory symptoms seen in RLS have a huge impact on the quality of live but are often less well understood as the other symptoms seen in RLS, such as sleep disturbances or motor symptoms. > From: Winkelman et al., Sleep Med (2013) (Epub ahead of print). All rights reserved to Elsevier B.V.
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