For people suffering from fibromyalgia, the symptoms associated with the condition are often exacerbated by chronic insomnia. A new study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine sheds some light on a second condition that could be contributing to sleep difficulties, and the findings could help to untangle the knot of symptoms that plague patients with fibromyalgia.
Restless leg syndrome is a neurological disorder that causes uncontrollable throbbing sensations in the legs that is temporarily relieved by moving the legs. The symptoms often intensify at night, and patients with RLS may have difficulty sleeping. Researchers from the University of Washington in Seattle looked into the prevalence of RLS in patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia and compared the rates with an otherwise healthy control group. They found that fibromyalgia patients were 11 times more likely to also experience RLS than their peers.
As we noted in a previous post, researchers are only beginning to understand the neurological issues underlying fibromyalgia. The results suggest that chiropractors who treat patients with fibromyalgia may need to consider whether RLS is also contributing to their patient’s discomfort. By addressing the symptoms of RLS, fibromyalgia patients may be better able to sleep, and see more success with other areas of treatment.