Do you suffer from restless leg syndrome? Do your legs and feet ache each night to the point that it’s hard to stop them moving? I do too. While I’m not a medical expert, here are five strategies that I’ve discovered help to ease my own restless leg syndrome (RLS) and aches and may help yours if you give them a go too:
1. A Long Soak in The Bath
A long soak in the bath is my favourite way to ease aching legs. I add Epsom salts to relax my muscles. In the past it was difficult for people with mobility problems to have regular soaks to ease their pain but with the availability of walk-in baths this natural therapy is now possible for all. I also like to dry brush my feet before my bath (always towards the heart) and exfoliate my feet and legs with a scrub mitt too. There are lots of walk in baths to choose from.
2. Massage Therapy
Each night before bed I massage my feet and legs. I find a lavender cream, such as Sleepy works well but other people prefer massage oils. A good combination of essential oils for restless legs are lavender, peppermint, marjoram, lemongrass and ginger. There are also pre blended oils available to buy designed to alleviate RLS.
It’s true that the foods that we put into our bodies makes a big difference. I find my restless legs do improve when I’m eating a better diet (and when I’m exercising more). it is advisable to avoid alcohol and caffeine and increase the amount of water you drink. Always drink a few glasses of water before bed and keep one by your bedside. I also find a teaspoon of Himalayan salt in my morning glass of water each day helps. Take a good multivitamin and also iron and magnesium supplements in case you have a deficiency. Also eat iron rich foods such as spinach and broccoli and increase your magnesium levels by eating bananas, avocados and almonds.
4. Hot and Cold
Some people find that alternating soaking or splashing their feet and legs with hot and then cold water can help. Personally I find that if I run cold water over my feet before bed this helps me more. I love feeling my feet heat up naturally after the cold splash. One of my favourite things to do is paddle in the freezing cold sea so I find running cold water over my feet in the bath or shower is the next best thing.
5. Grab a Hot Water Bottle/ Warmer and Relax!
If your feet are cold and restless rest them on an oat warmer. Lie back, relax and practice breathing exercises or meditation as you (hopefully) drift off to sleep. The traditional “tense and relax” from your feet to your head relaxation technique is my favourite.
Remember to see a doctor if you have any unexplained aches or pains and to get advice if you think if have restless leg syndrome. These are strategies that work for me but may not work for everyone.
What tips do you have for coping with restless legs?