Understanding Restless Arm Syndrome

Restless Arm Syndrome is less widely spoken of than Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS), but in most cases, it is an extension of the latter problem.

The same persistent and painful tingling associated with RLS is the biggest symptom of Restless Arm Syndrome as well.

Some patients report feelings of numbness and jerky movement of the arms.

There are others who find that there is involuntary arm movement, especially at night during sleep.

There may also be resultant joint pain.

Almost 25 percent of those who are diagnosed with RLS also complain of discomfort and restlessness of the arms.

It is useful to educate yourself about the issues underlying RLS to get a better understanding of Restless Arm Syndrome. Genetics are thought to play a big part in this motor movement problem. Many patients of RLS have parents who have suffered from the same health issue.

RLS can also be a secondary development because of another primary illness that the body is fighting such as:


Kidney failure

Low levels of iron

Thyroid problems

Folate deficiency


Peripheral neuropathy

Sometimes, RLS symptoms are experienced by pregnant women. There are some physicians who diagnose stress as the cause of the problem, and in other cases, a drug reaction or interaction may be a factor in the onset of RLS symptoms.

Both men and women are susceptible to Restless Arm Syndrome and it can come at any age. In the case of RLS, it has been found that those who are diagnosed with the problem in their adult years have very often experienced the symptomatic tingling and discomfort through their childhood and teen years, although possibly at less noticeable levels and frequency.

Children who complain of symptoms indicating Restless Arm Syndrome or the underlying RLS are sometimes misdiagnosed as being hyper-active or as having growing pains. When people in an older age group express concerns about these symptoms, sometimes they are dismissed as typical old age illnesses. Since the symptoms are broad and can be confused with other health concerns, it is sometimes tricky for RLS or Restless Arm Syndrome to be diagnosed correctly.

It has been found that many people who feel the onset of RLS find that it affects one side of the body first and then spreads to the other. But this is a broad pattern and not necessarily every patient's experience.

Restless Arm Syndrome Treatment

The treatment for Restless Arm Syndrome depends very much on what is perceived as the cause of the problem. Vitamin supplements for Vitamin B, E and C and supplements for iron, magnesium and folate are some times used even when there is no clearly indicated deficiency as they may help reduce the painful symptoms.

If the problem is a secondary development from another health issue, addressing the primary problem such as high blood sugar levels can help deal with Restless Arm Syndrome.

Your doctor is likely to evaluate your current medications and see if any of them are causing the symptoms and may recommend substituting some of the drugs.

Anti-nausea, anti-seizure and even some cold and allergy medication are known to have side-effects such as RLS. Some anti-depressants are also known to trigger RLS symptoms in various parts of the body. In some rare cases, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs are found to have provided relief from the symptoms of RLS, but more typically, they aggravate the problem.

Whether it is a prescription medicine or over-the-counter medication, your doctor will assess the impact the drug is having on your body by reducing the level or substituting it and suggest a course of treatment to eliminate or replace it. Restless Arm Syndrome is a manageable problem once it is diagnosed properly.

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