DEAR MAYO CLINIC: Is restless legs syndrome hereditary? Is there an effective treatment, or does a diagnosis of RLS mean I will have it for life?
ANSWER: Restless legs syndrome (RLS), is not always hereditary. But it does run in some families, and several genetic links have been found for RLS. While restless legs syndrome is most often a chronic condition, treatment is available that often can effectively control its symptoms.
Restless legs syndrome is a condition characterized by an unpleasant or uncomfortable urge to move your legs. Some people describe it as a crawling, pulling or burning sensation in their thighs, calves or feet. The sensation is temporarily relieved when you get up and move around, especially by walking, or when you shift or stretch your legs. RLS symptoms typically begin after you have been sitting or lying down for some time. Symptoms also tend to get worse in the evenings and at night, and are less bothersome during the day.