Last update:


Arch Hellen Med, 35(2), March-April 2018, 175-181


Restless legs syndrome and pregnancy

M. Tsekoura, E. Billis
Department of Physical Therapy, School of Health and Welfare, Technological Educational Institute of Western Greece, Egion, Greece

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a sensory-motor disorder characterized by unusual, uncomfortable sensations deep in the legs. It is commonly associated with sleep disturbance and it may appear or worsen during the third trimester of pregnancy. RLS is experienced by one in four women during pregnancy and is associated with poor sleep, lowered quality of life and an increased risk of cesarean delivery. Review of the literature suggests that low serum levels of iron and ferritin, and a high level of estrogen may play a role in the pathophysiology of RLS in pregnancy. Exercise training and massage therapy are nonpharmacological interventions that can be safely applied to these patients. Studies including larger sample sizes need to be carried out to provide more information on the etiology and management of this condition.

Key words: Pregnancy, Prevalence, Restless legs syndrome, Therapy.

© Archives of Hellenic Medicine