Chronic leg pain that recurs in the evening is often a symptom of restless leg syndrome. RLS involves uncomfortable sensations in the legs and an irresistible urge to move the legs to relieve the pain. RLS affects up to 10 percent of the U.S. population, reports WebMD.
RLS pains are often described as "creepy crawly," "itchy" or "pins and needles." Symptoms are typically worse when lying or sitting. RLS pain may be intermittent, and the severity of symptoms may range from mild to intolerable. RLS may interfere with sleep, and it is thus classified as a sleep disorder. For some, RLS pain may be so severe that it disrupts sleep and impairs quality of life, states WebMD.
Physicians usually cannot determine the cause of RLS in a particular patient. Because nearly half of all RLS patients have a family member who also suffers from the condition, physicians suspect that the condition may be genetic. Factors that may exasperate RLS symptoms include chronic conditions such as Parkinson's disease or diabetes and taking certain antinausea, antipsychotic or antidepressant medications. Additionally, lifestyle circumstances such as pregnancy, alcohol use and sleep deprivation may trigger RLS symptoms or make them worse. Common treatments for RLS include exercise, leg massages, application of heating pads or ice packs to the affected leg, and certain dopaminergic, anticonvulsant or narcotic drugs, says WebMD.