Have you ever noticed people shaking their legs while being in thought or reading a book or even when they are lying down? It is an involuntary thing that people do without even knowing about it. Some people will know that they shake their legs until they are told about it. To those who don’t shake legs, it might seem odd and a little creepy, but for those who do, it is a reflex action that they can’t control. Naturally, you will wonder: why do people shake their legs? Here we will figure out the possible causes and available treatment.
Why Do People Shake Their Legs?
People shaking legs can be due to the concentration. It is observed quite often that doing any physical activity can help a person concentrate. For instance, people thinking about a particularly difficult issue or problem start pacing around in the room. Those who are stuck in a cubicle or behind a desk might start shaking their legs. Moreover, studies have shown that the areas that control cognitive and motor functions overlap with each other in the brain, which suggests that it might become easier for people to concentrate when they are doing something physical. Furthermore, shaking of legs when faced with something difficult can also be a means of releasing nervous energy, too.
2. Restlessness or Boredom
Another possible reason for why people shake their legs is restlessness or boredom. Some people are hyperactive and can get easily bored if the situation isn’t stimulating enough for them. Such people can ease their restlessness by shaking their legs. The world we live in today is fast paced and thanks to all the gadgets that we have around us, we are always getting a considerable dose of stimuli. If suddenly all of the stimuli stop then the body might compensate for itself by shaking body parts.
People who make use of any kind of analeptics or stimulants such as nicotine or caffeine are bound to feel slightly agitated and anxious in a sitting position and can start shaking their legs. The urge to shake the leg intensifies if the person is using a powerful analeptic.
4. Disabilities and Conditions
There are several disabilities and conditions that can cause a person to continuously shake their legs. Below we list some of them, including:
- Restless Leg Syndrome: The patients of restless leg syndrome often have a nagging feeling in their legs which they deal with by shaking their legs. This shaking helps them in easing the creepy feelings in their legs. Patients experience this strange feeling in their legs a lot more when they are resting or sleeping at night.
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity: People with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) always have the urge to move and do something. In order to ease this urge, they tend to shake their legs.
- Autism: Patients with autism tend to do certain behavior or movement repeatedly, which is also known as stereotyped movements. This is mostly due to the self-stimulation, and autistic people are sensitive to stimuli and want to be in control of them too. This is why they repeat movements to soothe themselves.
How to Relieve This Condition
The the answer to why do people shake their legs can be serious sometimes. For disability and medical conditions, you need to seek for professional medical help to see if there are any treatments or remedies to treat or ease your conditions. Below are possible curing options for the RLS and adrenaline issues.
For Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) Condition
- Home remedies: The severity of the symptoms and the degree to which the condition disrupts a person’s life are some of the criteria on which the treatment of RLS depends. If the symptoms of RLS are of a mild nature then the patient can find relief by distracting himself with activities like: yoga, physical exercise, stretching and hot baths.
- Medications: If the symptoms of RLS are severe and are experienced on a daily basis then the patients will be given daily medications. Dopaminergic agents are among the class of drugs that are the first choice for treating daily symptoms of RLS. These drugs stimulate the pathways of dopamine in the brain and thus help in reducing the RLS symptoms. If the dopamine agents don’t work, anti-seizure and anti-pain medications and even narcotics can be prescribed for alleviating the symptoms. These medications alleviate the unpleasant sensations that the patients of RLS experience in their legs.
- Sleeping issues are dealt with by sleeping pills. Medicines for treating Parkinson’s disease or convulsions can also help in alleviating the nagging feelings, too. There is no treatment that works for everybody though and your doctor might have to try various medications before finding which one is the right for you.
- Other tips: Avoid certain triggers that can worsen your RLS symptoms. If possible, you can keep a diary and write down things you have done before the symptoms worsened, which helps the doctor to identify what activity aggregates your symptoms and can then be avoided.
For Adrenaline Issues
Why do people shake their legs? One of the reasons is adrenaline. Too much adrenaline can cause you to shake your leg and make it hard for you to stop once it has started. Stopping adrenaline is impossible so you would have to wait for it to get used up by the body during which time you need to control the anxiety you are feeling. The following are some methods you can try:
- Jogging or running is a great way of using up adrenaline and can help in stopping the shaking.
- Taking deep, slow breaths proves to be quite helpful for shaking as well.
- Yelling is another excellent means of using up adrenaline and can prove to be therapeutic for some people. However, you can’t do this in public.
- Since dehydration or insufficient nutrients in the body can cause or worsen shaking in some people, eating healthy and drinking plenty of water can be helpful too.