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Periodic Limb Movement Disorder Symptoms and Treatments

General Introduction to Period Limb Movement Disorder

Periodic Limb Movement Disorder (PLMD) is generally of two types – primary and secondary. It can be defined as an illness in which a person experiences periodic involuntary jerky movements of the legs when he is sleeping. People suffering from PLMD are often woken up by these periodic jerks and may experience cramps giving them fitful sleep at night. A person suffering from this problem is likely to get bad quality sleep which in turn will affect his mood and general demeanor throughout the day due to lack of sleep.  The person may become irritable and experience bouts of drowsiness during the day making normal functioning difficult. PLMD is not age specific as such but usually plagues people who are middle aged or old.

Periodic Limb Movement Disorder Causes

As far as Periodic Limb Movement Disorder causes are concerned, primary PLMD has no known cause as such. Doctors believe that primary PLMD is related to some sort of abnormality in the nerves that run between the brain and the limbs. Much research has not been done in this field and the exact nature of these abnormalities is yet to be delved into.  Secondary PLMD usually occurs when a person has an underlying illness. There are several illnesses that could be responsible for this problem like Diabetes, Anemia, injuries to the spinal column, tumors in the spinal column, malfunctioning kidneys and certain forms of barbiturate containing medications. Periodic Limb Movement Disorder causes have to be diagnosed and then taken care of depending on the treatment required for each individual disease.

Periodic Limb Movement Disorder Symptoms

Periodic Limb Movement Disorder symptoms include wild to slight involuntary movements of the legs at night while the patient is sleeping. Periodic Limb Movement Disorder symptoms vary from person to person. While some people may experience mild jerks, others may experiences strenuous kicking and flailing. Jerks and contractions last for a couple of seconds and usually take place at a consistent rate of once or twice per minute. The jerking and contractions are usually seen around the knee, toe and ankle regions.

Periodic Limb Movement Disorder treatment

Speaking about Periodic Limb Movement Disorder treatment, there is no guaranteed treatment for the same as such. However, certain drugs are prescribed which can keep the symptoms under control. At this point the main concern of a person suffering from this illness is to get good quality sleep at night so that it is possible to function normally throughout the day. The best way to start is to purchase an Adjustable Bed to replace the still and hard one you are currently using. These electric beds will help to ensure your body is in a comfortable resting position which is crucial in a quality sleep.

A lot of physicians recommend the use of drugs used for patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease. Physicians also recommend that patients completely cut out the use of caffeine, chocolate and other substances which can aggravate PLMD. A patient suffering from Secondary PLMD has to be diagnosed correctly so that the physician can treat the underlying disease so as to get rid of the symptoms of PLMD. Periodic Limb Movement Disorder treatment can also be done with the use of natural remedies like Horse Chestnut and Butcher’s Broom which are muscle relaxants that regularize the flow of blood and reduce PLMD symptoms considerably.

You can also learn about other sleeping disorders here:

Bruxism – Treating teeth grinding during sleep

Restless Legs Syndrome