Restless Leg Syndrome Specialist

Michael N. Newton MD

Pulmonology & Sleep Specialists located in Tampa, FL

If you’re not able to fall asleep because of burning or throbbing sensations in your legs, you may have a condition known as restless leg syndrome. At the office of Michael N. Newton MD, in Tampa, Florida, you can find relief from your restless legs and learn how to improve your quality of sleep. Dr. Newton offers comprehensive, in-office evaluations and customizes your treatment plan for your unique needs. Learn more about your options for treating restless leg syndrome by calling the office of Michael N. Newton MD, or by scheduling an appointment online today.

Restless Leg Syndrome Q & A

What is restless leg syndrome?

Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is a condition that causes uncomfortable sensations in your legs and an uncontrollable urge to move them for relief.

While the underlying cause of restless leg syndrome isn’t well understood, there may be a connection between RLS and an imbalance in your levels of dopamine -- the brain chemical that controls muscle movements.

Your genetics may play a role as RLS can run in families. Hormone changes during pregnancy can also increase your risk for RLS.

What are the symptoms of restless leg syndrome?

Restless leg syndrome symptoms tend to develop at night while you’re sitting or lying down. You may feel uncomfortable sensations in your legs like:

  • Aching
  • Creeping
  • Crawling
  • Pulling
  • Throbbing
  • Electric shocks

These sensations force you to move your legs to relieve them. You may also experience leg twitching because of restless leg syndrome.

Restless leg syndrome can start at any age, and its symptoms can worsen over time. Symptoms of RLS can go away for a time but will likely return. Because of the continuous movement of your legs during the night, you may develop insomnia and find it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep.

There is no specific test to diagnose restless leg syndrome. Dr. Newton can confirm you have RLS by reviewing your medical history and symptoms. He may also order blood work to rule out underlying issues, like an iron deficiency that can contribute to RLS symptoms.

How is restless leg syndrome treated?

Treatment for restless leg syndrome focuses on lifestyle changes to improve your sleep quality. You can try using heat or cold therapy on your legs to lessen your sensations when lying down. Massages can also help your muscles relax.

Dr. Newton can also help you create healthier sleep habits to ensure you’re getting good quality sleep each night. Be sure to avoid caffeine and other stimulants before bed and switch off all electronics at least one hour before going to sleep.

If you have moderate to severe symptoms of restless leg syndrome, Dr. Newton may prescribe medications. Medicines are available to relax your muscles and to increase the levels of dopamine in your brain.

To learn more about available treatment options for restless leg syndrome, call the office of Michael N. Newton MD, or schedule a consultation online today.