Manufacturers of intermittent pneumatic compression devices designed for prevention of deep vein thromboses can probably start looking for a new indication for their gadgets. A study conducted by physicians from the Walter Reed Army Medical Center has demonstrated that pneumatic compression devices (PCDs) can be used as a treatment option for people with restless legs syndrome. The research was published in the journal Chest.
Results of the study from the abstract:
Thirty-five subjects were enrolled. Groups were similar at baseline. Therapeutic PCDs significantly improved all measured variables more than shams. Restless Legs Severity Score improved from 14.1 ± 3.9 to 8.4 ± 3.4 (p = 0.006) and Johns Hopkins Restless Legs Scale improved from 2.2 ± 0.5 to 1.2 ± 0.7 (p = 0.01). All quality of life domains improved more with therapeutic than sham devices (social function 14% vs 1%, respectively; p = 0.03; daytime function 21% vs 6%, respectively, p = 0.02; sleep quality 16% vs 8%, respectively, p = 0.05; emotional well-being 17% vs 10%, respectively, p = 0.15). Both Epworth sleepiness scale (6.5 ± 4.0 vs 11.3 ± 3.9, respectively, p = 0.04) and fatigue (4.1 ± 2.1 vs 6.9 ± 2.0, respectively, p = 0.01) improved more with therapeutic devices than sham devices. Complete relief occurred in one third of subjects using therapeutic and in no subjects using sham devices.