Video Q & A:

FM and Other Conditions


Is there a connection between RLS and FM?

Expert:   Kenya Beard , ACNP-BC, Hunter College »

Curious as to whether or not there is a connection between restless leg syndrome and fibromyalgia? Watch this to find out.

Transcript: There is no known cause and effect relationship between restless leg syndrome and fibromyalgia, but there ARE several connections between the two. Both RLS and fibromyalgia are neurological conditions, so they may have common mechanisms in the brain and nervous system. One study in The Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine reports that 31 percent of people with fibromyalgia also have restless leg syndrome. Neither condition has a single, definitive diagnostic test—diagnosis is based on your reported symptoms. And both fibromyalgia and RLS are most likely to afflict women. Also, both lead to excessive daytime sleepiness and problems concentrating. That is probably because both conditions make getting a good night’s sleep very difficult. However, RLS does have symptoms that are not generally characteristic of fibromyalgia. For example, people with RLS report moderate to very painful creeping, burning, crawling or tugging sensations, which begin when you relax; they affect the legs, but can also be felt in the arms, torso and hands. And fibromyalgia, unlike RLS, is often characterized by hypersensitivity to touch, particularly in 18 defined tender spots located across the body. Each condition requires its own type of medication; but they both respond positively to lifestyle changes that include cutting down on caffeine and alcohol , establishing a regular sleep schedule, moderate exercise and hot baths.For more information on how to manage fibromyalgia, watch the other videos in this series. More »

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