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Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)

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Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is a neurologic condition in which a person has an overwhelming urge to move their legs when they are at rest. The urge to move the legs is usually, but not always, accompanied by unpleasant sensations. RLS symptoms typically occur during inactivity and can be temporarily relieved by movement or pressure. RLS symptoms are most severe during the evening and nighttime hours, which can profoundly disrupt your sleep and daily life.

A person with RLS experiences unpleasant sensations in the legs, which are described as painful, creeping, crawling, tingling, and pulling. These sensations usually can be felt anywhere in the leg — from the thigh to the ankle — but most often occur in the calf area. RLS can affect one or both legs. For some people, it can also affect the arms. When the sensations occur, people with RLS have an irresistible urge to move the affected limb. Some patients, however, have no definite sensation, except for the need to move. Sleep problems are common with RLS because of the difficulty it causes while getting to sleep.

RLS affects approximately 10 percent of adults in the United States. More than 80 percent of people with RLS also suffer from a condition known as periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD). PLMD is a condition that causes involuntary leg twitching or jerking movements during sleep that repeatedly occur throughout the night and disrupt your sleep.

In addition to poor sleep quality and short periods of sleep at night, research has shown that people with RLS who don’t receive proper treatment generally experience a reduced quality of life. The sleep medicine experts at the University of Miami Health System are experienced in helping those with RLS sleep easier and better.

Why Choose UHealth?

Regional leaders in sleep medicine and sleep surgery. As a fully accredited comprehensive sleep center, our program meets and exceeds the rigorous standards set by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. This designation recognizes our facility, services, and providers for the highest commitment to safety and quality care.

Multispecialty care customized for your good health and overall wellness. Depending on your condition, your team can include ear, nose, and throat doctors (ENT), pulmonologists (lung specialists), neurologists, psychiatrists, and weight management specialists with special expertise in sleep disorders. You receive the best care possible when we’re all working together for you.

Sleep studies offered 24/7 in a state-of-the-art sleep center. You can rest assured that you receive the most advanced care available. Sleep studies and tests are conducted in a modern, comfortable center — including the latest technology and a friendly, knowledgeable staff.

Questions? We're here to help.

Our appointment specialists are ready to help you find what you need. Contact us today.

Treatments

  • Medicines

    Your sleep medicine specialist may recommend a prescription medicine to treat the symptoms of RLS, so you can rest better at night.

  • Using Warm or Cool Packs

    Applying a warm compress or a cold pack – or alternating between the two – may help reduce the troublesome symptoms in your legs.

  • Improve Sleep Habits

    Being mindful of and working to improve your sleep habits can sometimes help reduce the symptoms of RLS. Good sleep habits include:

    • Avoiding or limiting alcohol and caffeine
    • Avoiding or limiting daytime naps
    • Getting enough physical activity each day
    • Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day
    • Not eating within a few hours of bedtime
    • Relaxing bedtime ritual, including a warm bath, reading, or listening to soft music

Tests

  • Physical Examination

    Your sleep medicine specialist will perform a comprehensive physical exam – including gathering a detailed health history – to diagnose your RLS.

  • Blood Tests

    Your specialist may recommend you undergo blood tests, to rule out other conditions that can cause symptoms that are similar to RLS.

  • Sleep Study

    An adult or pediatric sleep study (also called polysomnography) is performed in our sleep clinic. While you sleep, we collect information such as breathing patterns, blood oxygen levels, brain wave activity, muscle tone, heart rhythm, and eye movements. This information is captured using small, painless electrodes attached to your body and elastic bands around your chest and abdomen.

    Because we’re open 24/7, we offer a variety of studies including:

    • Maintenance wakefulness test (MWT): measures how alert you are during the day
    • Multiple latency sleep test (MSLT): a test that checks your daytime sleepiness by monitoring how quickly you fall asleep in a quiet, daytime environment
    • Round-the-clock, all-night continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP): a breathing machine that constantly pushes air through the nose, or nose and mouth, to keep the airways open while you sleep

Accepted Insurances

Note: Health plans that are currently contracted with UHealth are listed below. However, please check with your insurance provider to verify that UHealth is part of your provider network.

  • Aetna WC
  • Aetna Affiliates/Signature Adm (ASA)
  • Aetna Behavioral Health
  • Aetna Elect Choice (EPO)
  • Aetna Florida Healthy Kids
  • Aetna HMO
  • Aetna Medicaid HMO
  • Aetna Medicare HMO
  • Aetna Medicare PPO
  • Aetna POS
  • Aetna PPO
  • Aetna UM Employee HMO 1
  • Aetna UM Employee HMO 2
  • Aetna UM Employee POS HRA
  • Aetna/Coventry Institutes of Excellence (IOE)
  • Amerigroup Florida Healthy Kids
  • Amerigroup Medicaid HMO
  • Argus Vision
  • AvMed Choice
  • AvMed HMO/POS
  • AvMed MDC and JHS Groups
  • AvMed Medicare HMO
  • AXIS
  • BCBS Blue Options Network Blue PPO
  • BCBS BlueCare HealthOptions HMO
  • BCBS BlueChoice PPC/PPO
  • BCBS Miami Dade Blue PPO Limited Benefits Plan
  • BCBS of Florida (All products except "SELECT" Plans)
  • BCBS of Florida (Commercial plans exclude HIX Select)
  • BCBS Traditional PHS/PPO
  • Beacon Health (ValueOption)
  • Beech Street PPO
  • Broward Health Medical Center
  • CarePlus Medicare HMO
  • Catholic Hospice
  • CCP/CMS Title XIX (Medicaid Enrolled in South Florida)
  • CCP/CMS Title XXI (Non Medicaid Enrolled in South Florida)
  • CCP/MMA (Broward County residents)
  • Charlotte County Sheriffs Office PPO
  • Cigna Affiliates
  • Cigna Behavioral Health
  • Cigna Dental HMO/PPO
  • Cigna EPO
  • Cigna HMO
  • Cigna Life Source (Intracorp is part of Cigna Lifesource)
  • Cigna MDCPS Jackson Sr. High
  • Cigna POS
  • Cigna PPO
  • Cigna Shared Administration
  • Clear Health Alliance SNP Medicaid HMO
  • CompCare (Comprehensive Behavioral Care)
  • Concordia Behavioral Health
  • CorVel WC
  • Coventry First Health WC
  • Coventry Health Care of Florida (HIP) HMO/POS
  • Coventry Health Care of Florida (HIP) PPO
  • Coventry Health Plan of Florida (Foundation) HMO
  • Coventry Health Plan of Florida (Foundation) POS
  • Coventry National PPO
  • Coventry Summit Medicare HMO
  • Coventry Vista Medicare HMO
  • Coventry Vista Medicare HMO
  • Delta Dental PPO
  • DentaQuest (ADI)
  • DIKLA
  • Dimension WC
  • Dimension Plus PPO
  • EHN PPO
  • EQUIAN (Health Systems International)
  • Europe Assistance/Global Corporate Solutions (Care Management Network)
  • eyeQuest
  • FCCI WC
  • Florida Healthcare Plan (Affiliate of BCBSFL)
  • Florida PACE (FPC)
  • Freedom Health Medicaid HMO
  • Freedom Health Medicare HMO
  • Gallagher Bassett WC (MDCPS & FCSRMC)
  • Global Excel Mgt PPO
  • Global Health Claims Services
  • Great West (Cigna) HMO/POS
  • Guardian Life PPO
  • HAA Preferred Partners
  • Health First Health HMO/POS
  • Health First Health Medicare HMO
  • Health First Health PPO
  • Health Net Veterans Choice HMO
  • Heritage Summit Healthcare WC
  • Humana Behavioral Health (LifeSynch)
  • Humana Dental/CompBenefits/OHS
  • Humana EPO
  • Humana HMO
  • Humana HUMx
  • Humana Medicaid HMO
  • Humana Medicare HMO
  • Humana National Transplant
  • Humana PPO
  • Humana Premier
  • iCare Health Solutions
  • Interlink Health Services
  • International Kids Fund (IKF)
  • League Medical Concepts Federal Inmates
  • Life Trac
  • Magellan Behavioral Health
  • Magellan Complete Care SNP Medicaid HMO
  • MDAbroad
  • Medica Medicare HMO
  • Medical Development In't (MDI)-Federal Inmates
  • Medicus
  • Metlife Dental PPO
  • MHNet Behavioral Network (MHNet)
  • Molina
  • Molina Market Place
  • Molina Medicaid HMO
  • Molina Medicare HMO
  • Morgan White International
  • MultiPlan PPO
  • Naphcare (Federal Prisoners)
  • National Healthcare Solutions Inc.
  • Neighborhood HealthPlan HMO/POS
  • Neighborhood HealthPlan PPO
  • North Broward Hospital District PPO
  • Olympus Managed Healthcare
  • Optum
  • Positive Healthcare SNP Medicaid HMO
  • Positive Healthcare SNP Medicare HMO
  • Prestige Health Choice Medicaid HMO
  • Prime Health Services WC
  • Quality Health Management
  • Religious Order of Jehovah's Witnesses PPO
  • Rockport Healthcare Group WC
  • Royal Caribbean Cruises PPO
  • Sanus Health Corporation
  • Simply Healthcare Medicaid HMO
  • Solstice Dental HMO/PPO
  • Start Healthcare Network
  • Sunshine
  • Sunshine AMBETTER
  • Sunshine Healthy Kids HMO
  • Sunshine Medicaid HMO
  • Sunshine Medicare HMO
  • Tricare South Prime HMO
  • Tricare South Standard PPO
  • United Behavioral Health (UBH)
  • UnitedHealthcare Affiliates
  • UnitedHealthcare Healthy Kids HMO
  • UnitedHealthcare HMO/POS
  • UnitedHealthcare Medicaid HMO
  • UnitedHealthcare Medicare Nursing Home Plan
  • UnitedHealthcare PPO
  • University of Miami Athletic Dept PPO
  • VUMI
  • Wellcare/Staywell Healthy Kids HMO
  • Wellcare/Staywell Medicaid HMO
  • Wexford Health State Inmates
  • Worldwide Managed Care