Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a neurological disorder characterized by throbbing, pulling, creeping, or other unpleasant sensations in the legs and an uncontrollable, and sometimes overwhelming, urge to move them. Symptoms occur primarily at night when a person is relaxing or at rest and can increase in severity during the night. Moving the legs relieves the discomfort.
Often called paresthesias (abnormal sensations) or dysesthesias (unpleasant abnormal sensations), the sensations range in severity from uncomfortable to irritating to painful. According to some experts, Restless Leg Syndrome is most often related to nutritional deficiencies, most notably magnesium and other minerals/trace minerals and that is what sparked my interest!
Some holistic doctors swear by the use of magnesium to relieve RLS. Carolyn Dean, MD, a medical director for the Nutritional Magnesium Association, says “The best treatment is with any form of magnesium because magnesium relaxes muscles and nerves. Furthermore, calcium causes contraction in skeletal muscle fibres, and magnesium causes relaxation. When there is too much calcium and insufficient magnesium inside a cell, you can get sustained muscle contraction: twitches, spasms, and even convulsions. Magnesium permits a small amount of calcium to enter a nerve cell, just enough to allow electrical transmission along the nerves to and from the brain, then forces it back outside. Too much calcium, without the balancing effect of magnesium, can irritate delicate nerve cells of the brain. Cells that are irritated by calcium fire electrical impulses repeatedly, depleting their energy stores and causing cell death.