health conditions

Massager for Restless Legs: Study Shows MedMassager Can Help

Massager for Restless Legs: Study Shows MedMassager Can Help

Restless legs syndrome (RLS), also known as Willis-Ekbom disease, is a condition defined by an uncomfortable, overwhelming urge to move your legs. People with RLS are always looking for ways to calm those abnormal sensations and boost their well-being. But it's a confusing disorder — and it's challenging to find ways to feel better.

If you’re someone with this condition, you may be wondering about massagers for restless legs. But what does the research have to say?  Can massage help restless legs syndrome? 

Surprisingly, the answer seems to be yes. A 2020 study in PLOS One found that the MedMassager foot massager may help ease symptoms of RLS. 

Below, you’ll find a deep dive into the research, as well as learn how you can use a massager to soothe restless legs. 

What Is Restless Legs Syndrome?

In a nutshell, RLS causes an unpleasant sensation that brings on an intense urge to move your legs. Some people with RLS describe it as a tingling, creeping, or even a tugging sensation. It’s also classified as a sleep disorder, with people reporting worse symptoms at night.

With this condition, your symptoms may also worsen when you’re sitting still or lying down for a long time. This means when you’re stuck at the office, on a plane, or in a lengthy car ride, RLS can become extra uncomfortable.

Cause of Restless Legs

So, what are the causes of restless legs? 

RLS is a strange phenomenon, and it seems to have countless triggers. Here’s what we know so far about what causes restless legs:

  • It may have a genetic component. The Cleveland Clinic notes that up to 92% of people with RLS have a close family member with the disorder.
  • RLS is also associated with many other underlying conditions. These include iron deficiency, pregnancy, diabetes, kidney disease, and more. (For a more complete list of underlying conditions, be sure to check this page.)
  • Certain environmental triggers can bring on restless legs. Medications, including antidepressants and antihistamines, can trigger symptoms. Other triggers include (but aren’t limited to) obesity, smoking, caffeine, stress, and too little exercise.

Massager for Restless Legs: Study Shows MedMassager May Improve Symptoms

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to how to get rid of restless legs. That’s why researchers have been looking into natural therapies (like massage) to help soothe symptoms.

Here’s what you should know about the 2020 MedMassager study on restless leg syndrome:

Researchers Tested the Foot MedMassager for RLS Over Four Weeks

Over four weeks, researchers randomly divided participants into four different groups. The idea was to see which natural therapy could help most with RLS, sleep quality, and quality of life. 

The groups were as follows:

  • No intervention: This group didn't change anything about their nighttime routine.
  • Foot massager alone: This group used the MedMassager for 30 minutes before going to sleep.
  • Heat therapy alone: This group used a heating pad for 30 minutes before bedtime. 
  • Foot massager and heat therapy together: This group used the foot massager and heat therapy at the same time for 30 minutes before bed.

Study Showed MedMassager Group Had Most Positive Results

Researchers predicted that all groups (besides the non-intervention group) would find some relief. Here are the key takeaways from the results:

  • Surprisingly, participants using the foot massager alone showed the greatest improvements in their restless legs syndrome severity compared to the no-intervention group. They also got better sleep and felt their quality of life improved.
  • Participants using a combination of heat therapy and the massager showed improvements, too. However, these improvements were milder than the massage-only group's results.
  • The heat therapy group reported better sleep quality but didn’t experience as many benefits as the massage-only group.
  • Participants in every group reported better quality of life, with the biggest improvements reported in the massage group.

Future Research of Massage and RLS 

The MedMassager RLS study is part of the limited research looking into the effects of a massager for restless leg syndrome. While the results were incredibly positive, there were small limitations.

For instance, researchers noted that future studies should include more participants to collect a broader range of data. Additionally, it was tough to control for the placebo effect in this experiment. Participants knew if they were using heat therapy, massage, or nothing at all, since they were doing it themselves. For this reason, the study creators mentioned that future research should make it a point to control for placebo.

Despite the limitations, the participants in the massage group still experienced significant positive outcomes. All in all, the improvements in RLS severity, sleep, and quality of life were remarkable for those using the MedMassager.

How to Use a Massager for Restless Legs

The MedMassager Foot Massager Classic is a flat, vibrating device that offers many benefits, depending on how you use it. It can help with daily relaxation, circulation, and even aches and pains. 

So, how can you use this massager for restless legs?

One option is to place your feet directly on it for a therapeutic foot massage. But you can also choose to flip the massager around like this:

With the device set at this angle, you can massage your calf muscles instead of just the bottom of your feet. You can use the massager like this for up to 15 minutes per session, several times per day.

The Bottom Line 

RLS is an uncomfortable condition that can seriously impact a person’s quality of life. Because it has many triggers, it’s also tricky to pinpoint exactly what’s causing it. That’s why it’s so important to find the right combination of treatments and home remedies to ease symptoms.

Fortunately, recent research shows that the MedMassager may help improve sleep, quality of life, and symptoms in RLS patients. And this can be a huge help for people dealing with these unpleasant, uncontrollable leg sensations each day. 

If you’re searching for the best foot massager for restless legs, the foot MedMassager may be worth a shot. 

Before getting started, be sure to check with your doctor about whether massage could be right for you. With their guidance, you can pick up the MedMassager that researchers used in the RLS study, or learn more about how to use it here.

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