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Yoga Reduces Symptoms of Restless Leg Syndrome

A recent clinical trial found that yoga reduces symptoms and severity of restless leg syndrome (RLS). The National Institutes of Health report that as many as 10 percent of the U.S. population may have RLS, and two to three percent of adults (over five million individuals) have moderate to severe RLS.

The subjects consisted of 13 women 32 to 66 years of age with moderate or severe RLS without serious chronic disease, diabetes or sleep apnea, and were not pregnant.  All subjects completed a gentle, eight-week Iyengar yoga program and filled yoga participation logs. The researchers collected data at the beginning of the study and again after the intervention period, including RLS symptoms and symptom severity, sleep quality, mood and perceived stress.

Of the 10 women that completed the study, the women attended an average of 13 yoga classes and completed an average of four homework sessions per week. The researchers found a significant decrease in symptoms and severity at the eight-week follow-up evaluation, with only one subject rating symptoms greater than minimal/mild. No subjects reported severe symptoms at eight weeks. International RLS Scale scores decreased with increasing minutes of homework practice per session and total homework minutes, suggesting a possible dose-response relationship. All of the subjects also showed significant improvements in sleep, mood and perceived stress.

The study authors concluded, “These preliminary findings suggest that yoga may be effective in attenuating RLS symptoms and symptom severity, reducing perceived stress, and improving sleep and mood in women with RLS.”


Innes KE, et al. J Altern Complement Med. 2012 Dec 27. [Epub ahead of print.]


Health Tips On the Go!

Improve Posture

  • 1.Avoid slouching. Be aware of your posture as you walk, sit, and drive, keep shoulders squared and head pulled back and up.

  • 2.Imagine a thread pulling the top of your head toward the ceiling. Visualization can help improve your sense of position.

  • 3.If your job requires you to sit for long periods, take frequent breaks to stand, stretch and shake it out.

  • 4.Maintain a strong core to help support proper posture. Add core-training exercises to your daily routine.

  • 5.A firm mattress and ergonomic pillow help achieve proper back support while you sleep, so you'll stand straighter in the a.m.

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