Sore backs and restless legs

A modest proposal
Judylaine Fine, author of “The Ultimate Back Book,” has seen more than her share of health-care professionals after decades of back pain and loads of research. In her book, she offers tips on surviving these close encounters with dignity intact: On a first visit, if she’s ushered into a consulting room and told to wait, she sits on the chair, not the examining table. When the health-care professional comes in, she writes, “I gesture toward the table in a way that says I’m inviting him or her to take that seat… I want to make it clear that I expect a conversation before getting down to business. (I may be a child of the ’60s, but I have my principles, one of which is that I never take off my clothes for someone with whom I’ve exchanged less than 10 sentences!)”

These feet have got to move!
Some people are such fitness fanatics they run in their sleep-definitely one lap too many. They may have restless legs syndrome (RLS), in which-as the Mayo Clinic Health Letter puts it-“your legs feel extremely uncomfortable unless you move them.” It’s “a creeping, tingling, burning or aching sensation deep in [the] calves.”

It’s n serious, but it can disrupt sleep. If you’re prone to RLS, try gently stretching or massaging your calf muscles a half-hour before bed, or take a warm bath-and avoid caffeine, nicotine and alcohol. If it persists, see your doctor; there are medicinal solutions (including the anti-Parkinsonian drugs Sinemet and Permax) that may help. And sleep well.