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Does my husband have restless leg syndrome?

Q: My husband is 26 years old and gets pain in his legs, mostly below the knee region. He has been getting these pains everyday, since he was a child. He explains it more like a muscle pain and the only way it stops is by him going to sleep. Once back from work in the evening, he starts feeling this pain and it goes on until he sleeps. His maternal uncle has the same problem and has tried different doctors and medications but couldn't get any relief until he switched to homeopathy. What could this be?

A:What your husband is describing is probably what is termed restless leg syndrome. This is a syndrome characterised by pain, a feeling of restless in the legs or as if something is creeping deep within the tissues of the legs and sometimes even the upper extremities. The patient often has the irresistible urge to move the involved extremity. These symptoms are most prominent during the evening and the night. This condition is typically seen in 20% of adults over the age of 60 years and has not been described in children. It often interferes with sleep and family members are often affected. The condition is due to a chemical imbalance in the brain. Certain mediations referred to as dopaminergic can help and often relieve the symptoms. Examples of these medications include ropinirole and pramipexole.

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