Restless leg syndrome can occur in only one leg, and there are a few risk factors that can make this happen.
“Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is a condition where a person experiences pain, tingling, a crawling sensation or uneasy feeling in their legs,” says Mark Anderson, MD, DABFM, who is board certified in internal medicine and a partner at Executive Medicine of Texas, and who’s with the Staying Young Radio Show 2.0 podcast.
“This condition is often worse at night. Most cases involve both legs, but it can happen in just one leg.
“Single leg restlessness is most common in people who stand for long periods of time during the day, shifting the majority of weight to one side, and in pregnant women who are in their last trimester.”
And, like RLS that affects both legs, sometimes the triggering agent for single leg RLS is not known.
Dr. Anderson adds, “Getting up from bed and walking around, soaking in the tub, and massage have all been identified as ways to reduce the symptoms of RLS.”
And you may also want to just roll with the punches, as the saying goes. In other words, if you’re lying in bed, and you just can’t keep your legs still, then go ahead, move them while remaining in bed.
Do kicks, knee extensions, whatever it takes to relieve the urge to keep moving your legs.
I speak from experience. I’ve had a few mysterious episodes of RLS. This includes while I was sitting at my computer. I found that what worked best was giving in.
While I worked at the computer, I kept my legs active. My attitude was, “The heck with this; if my legs want to move, then for Pete’s sake, just move them!” Plus, this burns more calories than if you sit like a bump on a log.
While in bed and trying to fall asleep, I eventually fall asleep, becoming too tired to continue moving my legs. I was asleep before I knew it.
You can apply this approach if only one leg is affected by RLS. If you can’t fall asleep despite trying the aforementioned tricks, then see what happens if you spend 10 minutes doing different yoga poses.