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RLS (Restless Leg Syndrome) on Flight...what do you do?

RLS (Restless Leg Syndrome) on Flight...what do you do?

Apr 21st, 1999, 09:06 PM
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RLS (Restless Leg Syndrome) on Flight...what do you do?

RLS or restless leg syndrome is when the nerve endings in your legs compel you to move them for no reason. It is often more troublesome at night, in confined places (airplane seat) and/or when you are very tired. Many folks may identify with the old lingo "heebie jeebies." No way to describe it but if you have it, you will know what I mean. I have a medicine that eventually lessens the crazy feelings but was wondering if any RLS'ers have any experiences on long flights to relieve the inability to sit in one place for so long. Leaving next Thursday for 25 days in Europe...first timer...oh what a trip! Thanks.
Apr 22nd, 1999, 05:17 AM
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Linda: I know what you mean. It seems bad for me because I can't get to sleep on anything that moves.

We've got a Pittsburgh-Frankfurt flight coming up and that's the only part of the trip that I could do without.

What I try to do to alleviate some of it is walk. At the airport, prior to departure, I walk all over, rarely sitting, just checking out shops, concourses, planes outside, etc. On the plane, whenever the attendants are not serving passengers, I'll get up and walk around going to the bathroom, looking for magazines, taking the long way around the cabin, just to stretch.

I seem to feel better when we land and I don't feel so stiff. If I'm lucky, I'll dose off for a half hour or more. I don't drink anything with caffeine on the flight and maybe one beer or wine. When we reach our destination hotel, we nap for a few hours and get up and go out. We get to sleep at a normal time that night and don't seem to have "jet lag" problems. Hey, if it works...

Have a good trip!
Apr 22nd, 1999, 05:19 AM
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I occasionally get this. My solution? I get up and walk around frequently. [Obviously I request an aisle seat]

Walking is also good for keeping the circulation going. [I've been walking "religiously" on long flights since a friend of mine took a sleeping pill on a Singapore/LA flight... slept the whole way and ended up in the hospital with a blood clot in his leg.]

I also flex and circle my ankles regularly. Maybe what the airlines need instead of the endless idiotic short subjects is "inair aerobics". There are books [aimed at "senior citizens"] on exercises that can be done while seated! [Granted most of the exercises need more room than the average steerage seat in current airline configurations!]
Apr 22nd, 1999, 10:13 AM
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Linda, you have just cleared up a great mystery of life for me (!!) and validated what I've often tried to explain ("you just HAVE to move it..") to those who've wondered why I need to tap my leg so much. Thank you thank you! I can't believe it's even got a name! Wowee, you just made my day.

As far as how to get rid of it, I either just walk around, fidget like crazy, or fall asleep. Mostly I get it if I'm on the sofa too late and get tired, or, unfortunately, sitting in the theater. Sleep (in bed) is the only cure I've found. It's so strange to have your leg overcome by this unconquerable need to move. Do you know what causes it?

Stretching the muscles seems to help too (combination of stretching and tightening). Hey, wait, that's the definition of fidgeting....
Apr 22nd, 1999, 10:21 AM
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Fans of Prevention magazine might want to check out http://www.healthyideas.com/healing/.../restlesslegs/
Apr 22nd, 1999, 10:57 AM
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Thanks all for your wonderful suggestions. Keep 'em moving! Will check out the 'prevention' page too.

Helena, when the doc first gives you a name for it, you can almost have tears from the affirmation. Much is still not know, strong possibility for genetic link, seems to increase with age. Check this page and SEE yourself:

I have meds for when it is really bad but usually just try to take my mind elsewhere and move about. So as long as the airplane aisle will allow me some room I hope to be ok. Thanks all for responding. I love this board!

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