Restless Leg Syndrome

Physiother Theory Pract.  2011 Jul;27(5):345-51. Epub 2010 Oct 26.

Restless legs syndrome and near-infrared light: An alternative treatment option.

Mitchell UH, Myrer JW, Johnson AW, Hilton SC.

Source

Department of Exercise Sciences, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602, USA. rike_mitchell@byu.edu

Abstract

There are few treatment options in managing restless legs syndrome (RLS); the most frequently used are dopaminergic drugs and movement. New treatment options are highly sought after. This study evaluated the effectiveness of monochromatic near-infrared light treatment in decreasing symptoms associated with RLS. The design used was 2×6 repeated-measures design with two groups (treatment and control) and six repeated measures (baseline, weeks 1-4, and posttreatment). Data collection took place in the university modalities laboratory. Thirty-four volunteers with symptoms of RLS were randomly assigned to a treatment or control group. Over a 4-week period subjects underwent twelve 30-min treatments to their lower legs with near-infrared light. The International RLS rating scale (IRLS) was used to assess and track patient symptoms. There was a steady decrease in symptoms associated with RLS over the 4 weeks in the treatment group. After 4 weeks of treatment the treatment group had a significantly greater improvement in restless legs syndrome symptoms than the control group (p<0.001); improvement was still significant after 4 weeks posttreatment compared to baseline (p<0.001). Treatment with near-infrared light does decrease symptoms associated with RLS as demonstrated in lower IRLS scores. This new noninvasive method of treating RLS might become a valuable new management option. More research is needed to determine the mechanism(s) behind infrared light treatment and RLS.

Physiother Theory Pract.  2011 Jul;27(5):352-9. Epub 2010 Oct 16.

Comparison of two infrared devices in their effectiveness in reducing symptoms associated with RLS.

Mitchell UH, Johnson AW, Myrer B.

Source

Department of Exercise Sciences, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602, USA. rike_mitchell@byu.edu

Abstract

This study was conducted to assess whether two kinds of near-infrared light devices, using different wavelengths and frequencies, impact symptoms associated with restless legs syndrome (RLS) differently. A recent randomized controlled study showed that symptoms associated with RLS can be diminished with near-infrared light treatment for a limited time. We wanted to assess whether different wavelengths and frequencies had an impact on its effectiveness. Twenty-five volunteers with symptoms of RLS were randomly assigned to either Anodyne® or HealthLight™ treatment. Both groups underwent 12 treatments with near-infrared light, three times a week for 4 weeks. A validated RLS rating scale was used to track changes. The two groups were not different in reported symptoms at baseline (p=0.37) and after 4 weeks of treatment (p=0.88). There was a significant improvement of symptoms between week 0 and week 4 (p<0.001); the difference in change indicated virtually the same improvement between the two groups. Although the two near-infrared light devices used different wavelengths and frequencies and one device used additional red light, they both produced significant improvement in the symptoms associated with RLS after 4 weeks of treatment.