Restless Achy Legs before Period Causing Pain

Written by: Shreya Manerkar – MA (Clinical Psychology)

Last updated date : August 28, 2022

Have you been feeling restless during or before your period? Do you feel a lot of period pain in your legs? Does this pain lead to restless achy legs before your period? If you have been experiencing these pains, you are not alone.

These aches and pains are one of the most common symptoms women face before their period. If we ask you to point out the exact sensation, it is sometimes extremely difficult to describe the feeling in a single word. This feeling can be experienced in a variety of ways – restless mind, irritation, or even anxiety.

Have you been feeling restless during or before your period? Do you feel a lot of period pain in your legs? Does this pain lead to restless achy legs before your period? If you have been experiencing these pains, you are not alone.

These aches and pains are one of the most common symptoms women face before their period. If we ask you to point out the exact sensation, it is sometimes extremely difficult to describe the feeling in a single word. This feeling can be experienced in a variety of ways – restless mind, irritation, or even anxiety.

Chapter 1:
Why Do I Feel Restless Achy Legs before Period?

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) are common signs that women show before or during their period. These range from mood swings, food cravings, tender breasts, and even fatigue. One of the common symptoms that women feel during period is restlessness, especially in the form of achy legs. This period pain in legs can hamper sleep which in turn increases restlessness.

One of the biggest reasons for restless achy legs before period is fluctuating hormones. Another possible reason could be iron or magnesium deficiency. This deficiency could lead to restlessness in your legs, feet, or hands. As a result of this, you may feel an uncontrollable urge to move your limbs or may feel hot or itchy. Together, restlessness and pain contribute to Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS). Feelings of anxiety can also cause RLS. 

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Chapter 2:
How Does Period Pain in Legs Feel?

Picture yourself sitting on a sofa or lying down in bed. You are trying to relax after a hectic day but suddenly you feel the need to move your legs. The need is so strong that you find it difficult to control it. How much ever you try, the leg keeps moving and shaking vigorously. You then start feeling a lot of pain and ache in your legs and this starts to worry you.

If we analyze the situation described above and ask you to tell us the exact location of the restless achy leg pain, you may find it difficult to share the correct place. But you may be able to share the sensation that you feel when you experience this pain. RLS feels like a mix of sensations – hot, itchy, and vibrations because of nonstop movement.

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Chapter 3:
How Do Restless Achy Legs before Period Hamper Life?

The strong urge to shake our legs can leave an unpleasant feeling in the feet, thigh, or calf. It is important to note that this shaking happens at night or in the evening when we are going to bed or sitting down. When we start feeling this uncomfortable feeling in our legs, we start moving them even more to reduce the discomfort. Therefore, this restless achy leg and period pain in legs hamper our life in many ways.

  • If you remember, we said that the moving of the leg is ‘uncontrollable’ and ‘vigorous’. This means that people can’t stop moving their legs and the movement is very forceful. This combination leads to a lot of leg pain, and hence disrupts sleep
  • When we don’t get enough sleep, we feel tired and drowsy the whole day
  • If we are drowsy, we are unable to focus on work or day-to-day activities
  • If the restless achy legs before period continue throughout the day, we may even avoid going out. This is because we feel embarrassed or ashamed of not being able to control our legs
  • With life being completely turned upside down, people also suffer from depression

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Chapter 4:
How Can We Control or Change Our Life?

While not being able to control the body may sound extremely scary, all is not lost. If we understand the root cause of the problem and make some simple lifestyle changes, we can bring these RLS symptoms under control.

Check Iron Levels

As we mentioned earlier, iron deficiency can cause restless achy legs before periods. Therefore, you must visit your doctor and discuss these symptoms with them. Under their guidance, you can check your iron level and if they are low, take supplements recommended by the doctor.

The doctor may also recommend taking painkillers which eases this comfort and thereby improves sleep.

Improve Sleep

Period pain in the legs is known the disrupt sleep patterns. Therefore, it is important to maintain our sleep schedule, especially during our periods. One way to achieve this is to go to bed at the same time every night. Try and relax one hour before you go to sleep or switch off the light. Along with this, keep the room dark and the temperature not too cold or hot.

If possible, listen to some soothing music before going to bed. You can also meditate or do muscle relaxation exercises to calm the body.

Avoid Substances That Activate the Mind

In order to follow proper sleep hygiene, we need to ensure we do not stimulate our minds before bed. Caffeine can stay in our system for long periods of time; hence it is best to avoid it late in the evening. High amounts of caffeine can also make us anxious which can lead to our legs shaking uncontrollably. Instead of coffee, you can drink herbal teas which have a soothing effect.

It is important to also avoid alcohol and other drugs which can have a similar effect as caffeine. Along with this, avoid using the phone or computer before bed. If you wish to relax and read, you can do so, but without the phone or laptop. Take a feel-good book that can calm the mind.

Exercise and Massages

Mild exercise such as yoga, walking, cycling, or swimming can help reduce restless achy leg pain before periods. You can also add stretching to your routine. Moderately strenuous exercises can also help, but it is better to avoid them, especially a few hours before bed. Try to aim at 30-60 minutes of exercise a few times in the week.

By contrast, long hours of sitting or extremely strenuous workouts can worsen the symptoms. Hence, it is advisable to meet with your doctor and discuss the best workout plan for you. Additionally, you can go for massage therapy to reduce the pain.

Maintain a Period Journal

A good way to observe your restless achy legs before your period is to note your symptoms and understand your patterns. With the help of a journal, you observe how your leg feels before, during, and after periods. Also, note if these signs occur only during your period or otherwise as well.

See a Doctor

When nothing else seems to help, book an appointment with your doctor. It would help to get a thorough physical and psychological evaluation to rule out any issues. As we mentioned earlier, iron deficiencies can cause restless achy legs and period pain in legs. It is essential to rule out any underlying causes.

Along with this, enroll in our self-help course, ‘Body Image Concerns’ to gain complete benefit and heal faster.

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