Restless Legs Awareness Day is annually observed on September 23. Restless legs syndrome is a disorder that provokes a strong urge to move one’s legs. The disease is otherwise termed as Willis-Ekbom Disease. Restless Legs Awareness Day is observed to bring in some awareness about this syndrome.
RLS is one of the most intriguing chronic sensory-motor disorder which is frequently unrecognized, misdiagnosed and poorly managed. Awareness about RLS is poor among medical professionals.” – Dr. Mehdi Zobeiri,
History of Restless Legs Awareness Day
The origin and history of Restless Legs Awareness Day date back to the year 1945. However, the Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) has a long history. The date is precisely chosen to honor the Swedish neurologist Professor Karl-Axel Ekborn’s birthday who made the detailed study of RLS. It is characterized by a strong urge to move the legs which will usually be accompanied or caused by uncomfortable, unpleasant sensations in the legs even when at rest. It can even occur in the arms sometimes. Restless Legs Syndrome occurs when at rest and makes it hard for the patient to sleep. Thus the syndrome results in daytime sleepiness, low energy, irritation, and a depressed mood. The treatment of this syndrome includes changes in lifestyle and medication. The observance of the day is to promote awareness among the people about the symptoms and how to treat it.
The first medical description of this RLS was given by Sir Thomas Willis in the year 1672. Early nineteenth-century has termed it as fidgets in the legs. Almost after three centuries after Willis, Karl-Axel Ekbom in 1945 had provided a detailed and comprehensive report about this syndrome. Ekbom was the one who had coined the term “restless legs” which implies the clinical study of the hitherto overlooked disease. Throughout his career, he continued to describe the essential diagnostic symptoms, differential diagnosis from other conditions, prevalence, relation to anemia, and other common occurrences during pregnancy. RLS is termed as Willis-Ekbom disease as it jointly acknowledges the first known description given by Sir Thomas Willis in 1672 and the first detailed clinical description given by Dr. Karl Axel Ekbom in 1945.
Other Celebrations on September 23
September 23 is also celebrated as
How to Celebrate the Day
The best way to celebrate the day is by educating the people about the symptoms and how to treat the Restless Legs Syndrome or Willis-Ekbom disease. Use the hashtag #RestlessLegsAwarenessDay to post and share your Restless Legs Awareness Day celebrations on social media.
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