RLS: Have you ever heard of Restless Leg Syndrome?

By | September 19, 2014

Very often the answer to the question ‘Have you ever heard of Restless Leg Syndrome (aka Willis-Ekbom Disease)’ will be a resounding no!

And, truth be told, Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) actually sounds like a very benign and almost comical malady.

But for those who suffer on a daily basis with the symptoms of Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) the effect on our lives and on our business can be tangible!

What is Restless Leg Syndrome?

RLS (impacting an estimated 10% of Americans), now upgraded to disease status and called Willis-Ekbom, has a funny sounding name with symptoms that can at times be extremely difficult to describe.

Case in point: Typically when I am asked about what happens physically, very often my answer will begin with the phrase that ‘It’s very hard to explain but I have sensations in my legs that make sitting or lying down very difficult and at times impossible to do.’

That certainly sounds like an annoying yet manageable issue and will often result in a response that the listener gets the very same sensations or knows someone who does.

But the reality is that the impact on someone whose symptoms are moderate to severe can be debilitating and, unlike many diseases where the physical effects are tangible, RLS is much more difficult to define.

Because of this it can also be difficult for someone unfamiliar with RLS to either understand its impact on the sufferer or at times to take it seriously.

So at this time, rather than try to explain RLS (because as I said before explaining the symptoms can be difficult), I offer the following word cloud that was put together by the Willis-Ekbom Disease Foundation, formerly known as the Restless Leg Syndrome Foundation.

The WED-RLS Foundation asked members to submit one word that describes how they feel about the impact that RLS has on their lives. Here is the result:

RLS Restless Leg Syndrome Willis-Ekbom Disease

For many who suffer through the ongoing daily symptoms of RLS with no solution currently available to cure, control or curtail them, feelings of frustration, helplessness and hopelessness can ensue.

As the leader of the NYC/Long Island RLS support group this fact has been painfully obvious both through the emails I receive from sufferers, relatives of sufferers as well as by the stories that have been told at meetings.

So what is the purpose of writing this article?

Basically it’s to offer a venue for those who would like to vent about how they feel, for those who are seeking the help or advice of others concerning some specific issue they are dealing with or for those who may want to share something that may have worked to mitigate their symptoms (Note: None of the suggestions that will be posted here have been vetted by me and cannot be construed as medical advice. That can only be provided by your doctor).

I look forward to hearing from you.


Written by Michael Haltman, President of Hallmark Abstract Service, New York.

HAS is a provider of title insurance in New York State for residential and commercial real estate transactions specializing in the areas of New York City, Long Island and Westchester.

Remember that you have the right to choose your own title company (click here to learn more)!

If you have any questions you can reach Michael by email at mhaltman@hallmarkabstractllc.com.

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