Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS), also known as Willis-Ekbom disease, is characterized by a distressing urge to move the legs and sometimes the arms and other parts of the body. This urge to move is often accompanied by discomfort. Moving around can help relieve these symptoms. In the United States, RLS is believed to affect more than 10 million adults and 1.5 million children and adolescents.
Researchers have yet to find a single cause for Restless Legs Syndrome. They have found that RLS tends to run in families; this is called primary RLS. They also know that RLS can result from another condition such as pregnancy, damage to the nerves of the feet or hands, or low iron anemia; this is called secondary RLS. Restless Legs Syndrome tends to affect adults 30 and older and is more common in women than in men.