In yesterday's Daily Mail (copied verbatim):
It sounds faintly ridiculous – but restless leg syndrome (RLS), characterised by uncomfortable twitches in the muscles of the legs, brings misery to millions of Britons.
Some experts suggest that up to 15 per cent of the population could be affected, and although many simply put up with the condition, some are prescribed sleeping pills, anti-epileptic drugs and benzodiazepine, all of which can have serious side effects.
Now, a magnetic gadget is having remarkable success in alleviating RLS, also known as Ekbom’s Disease.
Nine in ten patients who used the device – a Velcro-adjustable leg-wrap – found it eased symptoms, according to a study by Dr Nyjon Eccles, who specialises in alternative and complementary medicine at The Hale Clinic in London.
The LegCare wrap is fitted below the knee and above the calf muscle. During the study, patients wore their wrap 24 hours a day for one month.
After five months, the majority said pain, twitching and tingling was reduced by 50 per cent. By comparison, just 20 per cent of users said drugs offered relief, and one in ten found natural therapies helped.
RLS is thought to be due to problems in the parts of the brain that control movement – in particular the neurotransmitter dopamine – but doctors do not know the precise cause.
Just how the wrap works is also not known, though some studies suggest there may be an improvement in circulation and a calming of the nerve signals.
Yet numerous studies have shown magnets work no better than sham treatments in a host of illnesses they have been claimed to treat.
Sufferers of RLS are mainly female. Pregnancy has been reported to offer temporary respite from the twitching. Others say it worsens after the menopause.
Natural remedies found to be effective include supplements containing magnesium and iron tablets, although the latter should be used only in individuals with proven iron deficiency.
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