Differentiating nocturnal leg cramps and restless legs syndrome

Abdul Qayyum Rana, Fatima Khan, Abdullah Mosabbir, William Ondo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Leg pain and discomfort are common complaints in any primary physician's clinic. Two common causes of pain or discomfort in legs are nocturnal leg cramps (NLC) and restless leg syndrome (RLS). NLC present as painful and sudden contractions mostly in part of the calf. Diagnosis of NLC is mainly clinical and sometimes involves investigations to rule out other mimics. RLS is a condition characterized by the discomfort or urge to move the lower limbs, which occurs at rest or in the evening/night. The similarity of RLS and leg cramps poses the issue of errors in diagnosing and differentiating the two. In this paper we review the pathopysiology of each entity and their diagnosis as well as treatment. The two conditions are then compared to appreciate the differences and similarities. Finally, suggestions are recommended for complete assessment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)813-818
Number of pages6
JournalExpert Review of Neurotherapeutics
Volume14
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2014

Keywords

  • movement disorder
  • nocturnal leg cramp
  • periodic limb movement
  • restless leg syndrome
  • willis ekbom disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Pharmacology (medical)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Differentiating nocturnal leg cramps and restless legs syndrome'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this