Acupuncture in the treatment of restless legs syndrome

Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies

Raissi G, et al.

This randomized controlled trial aimed to investigate the additive effect of medical acupuncture on controlling the symptoms of the restless legs syndrome (RLS). The researchers revealed that in the treatment of restless legs syndrome, acupuncture plus a low dose of gabapentin (300mg/day) was clinically useful during 8 weeks follow up. In patients with RLS, it also had an additive therapeutic effect over gabapentin alone.


  • The researchers assigned 46 randomly allocated patients diagnosed with RLS to receive either 10 sessions of acupuncture plus gabapentin (300mg/day) or gabapentin (300mg/day) alone (23 patients in each group) over 4 weeks in a single blind study.
  • They evaluated the symptoms of patients by Visual Analogue Scale (VAS), International Restless Leg Syndrome Study Group rating scale (IRLSRS) and Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) at baseline, just after the therapeutic course and 8 weeks later.


  • There was a significant time-group interaction, showing that the behavior of groups differed regarding changes in VAS, IRLSRS, and PSQI in the favor of experimental group for all outcome measures.
  • In both experimental and control group, VAS and IRLSRS had a significant improvement but PSQI improved significantly just in the experimental group after therapeutic course termination and in 8 weeks follow up.

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