Q. For several years now I have kept a bar of soap in my bed under the top sheet for leg cramps. I find that it works.
For almost a year now, I have had severe nighttime pain in my left leg from my waist to my ankle. An MRI indicated bursitis. Most nights I would get up between 2 am and 5 am and sit in my recliner because the pain kept me from sleeping.
Late one night when the pain was bad, I thought about the soap and wondered if it could possibly help. I put a bar of soap next to the hip/thigh area where the pain started and within minutes the pain stopped. I couldn’t believe it!
For several months now I have done this every night. I can finally get a good night’s sleep without pain. A friend who has back and hip pain also tried this and was surprised when it worked for him, too.

A. Thanks for the report. Some other readers have also experimented with soap. Here is one story: “I have used soap chips in my socks for foot cramps, especially when traveling. When I’m walking, I put soap in the back pockets of my jeans to relieve hip pain.”
You can read more about using soap for sciatica, bursitis and leg or hand cramps in our Guide to Leg Pain. The Guide also offers several other ways to prevent or alleviate leg cramps, but for bursitis many people suggest turmeric or boswellia instead of or along with soap.
Here are some other surprising soap stories. We have to admit that many people find them hard to swallow, but soap is a low-risk solution for hard-to-treat conditions.
“OK I’m all for natural remedies and I have read alot of testimonials in my day but this page is outrageous! So I thought I’d try it.
“I grabbed the only bar I could find. Burts Bees Shampoo Bar and within 3 minutes my back was pain free. I put it in a old knee high stocking and placed it over my L4 and L5 area and whalaa – miracle I tell you. I have 2 old fractures and 2 ruptured disks.
“So my hubby was laughing at me and decided to try it. He has scoliosis. His exact words – well I’ve allways known you are a witch doctor! I swear I think it’s grounding some kind of electromagnetic energy from the nervous system. What the heck man – I am amazed.
“I’m gonna let my cat sleep with it and see how it works on her frozen knee/fracture.
“Too Cool!!!!”

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“This remedy totally works for both my husband and I. Personally for those who are negative about it, it doesn’t really matter. They probably haven’t tried it anyway. And I also don’t think this is all in my head, but if it is, does that really matter if the pain is gone? Give me a break, if a person is in pain and something this simple works and works good, what difference does it make?
“There is a whole lot about human health and the human mind that we don’t understand yet. I can’t explain why this works.
“So as long as it does work, I’m going to keep trying it.”

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We’re not convinced that sleeping on a big bar of soap under a painful hip is likely to feel good, though some people are so desperate they are likely to give it a go.
Several years ago we thought that putting a big bar of soap in bed might be a bit uncomfortable, which is why we developed “Bed Soap.” It actually has more soap (by weight) than the average bar of soap, but it is designed to be longer, wider and much flatter than a typical bar of soap. That way it is not uncomfortable in bed. We also added a touch of lavender to help fall asleep (studies show that lavender promotes sleep).
And because people told us that they were shaving pieces of soap off their bars of soap and putting the soap chips in their socks, we created “Leg Soap” to make it much easier to do this.
Anyone who would like to look at Bed Soap and Leg Soap and learn more about ordering these unconventional soaps can go to this link.
No matter what kind of soap you use, do let us know how it works. We are always interested in the pros and cons of home remedies as well as drugs. Please share your story below.

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  1. temple
    Reply

    I am having serious pains from my hip to my knees even to my ankles I normally experience this when I walk a distance place or stand for long. pls what will I do now it’s paining me heavily

  2. Belinda
    Reply

    Both my hips are aching And I’m kept awake at night not knowing which side to lie on.. Do I need two bars of soap, one under each hip.. What way do I try this please.

  3. D B
    Reply

    Soap under my sheets last night worked!!!! I had no leg cramps. Thank you for sharing this remedy.

  4. Nick P.
    Reply

    My wife and I are 60+ years of age and had been experiencing leg, back and hip pain during our 30 minute walks. She was told by a friend to try walking with a small bar of soap (not Dove or Dial) to help sooth the pain. She tried it and almost immediately she told me her hip pain went away. My hips and back were aching so she placed her bar of soap into my pants pockets. Honestly, with two blocks of walking, all of my joint pains disappeared. We now walk faithfully with a bar of soap in our pockets. I forgot it one day, and sure enough my pain was back. That will never happen again. I told this story to my Pain Management Specialist and he is now recommending it to his other patients. He has received positive feedback.

  5. Susie
    Reply

    I used a bar of hotel soap because of its size. I laid my painful hip on it when I went to bed. I finally got to sleep all night without hip pain. It’s totally amazing. It sure has improved my mood today. Lack of sleep makes one very grumpy.

  6. Debbie H.
    Reply

    I have had 2 knee replacepents in the past year. The last one done in Sept 2012 left me with a pronation in lower leg. Causing unbearable pain in my ankle and foot. I have an appt. with a specialist, but have to wait a month to get in. In meantime, can barely walk, and causing my knee to swell, I switch shoes all day, ice it , no relief. Yesterday a friend told me about the soap. Within an hour of putting soap in sock,pain is gone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I can’t believe it, but it works!!!

  7. Fred B
    Reply

    In reference to March 20 Chicago paper on leg pain. What brand of soap?
    Does it need to be unwraped?
    We have tried this for only three days with two different brands,seems to be working.

  8. Karl
    Reply

    For forty years my wife would wake up with foot cramps at knight. I would end up massaging her foot until the cramps subsided. Out of pure desperation, she tried the soap theory. I would tease her, calling it her silly soap, but silly or not it works. She hasn’t had foot or leg cramps since she started sleeping with it. Sometimes however, I have to push that soap bar, lying under the bottom sheet, back over to her side of the bed. It definitely has a severe case of wanderlust. She has not had a cramp in many years now, therefore I’ve not been awakened in the middle of the night from cramping events. Both of us are pleasantly amazed.

  9. Cindy B.
    Reply

    I camp a lot. I often get leg cramps but don’t want to get my sleeping bag all scummy with soap. So I just take a pair of knee socks and rub soap on the insides of the socks, then put them on. And, like most everyone else, I immediately get relief, i.e., no more cramps!

  10. MimiB
    Reply

    A friend of ours has been having leg cramps at night and his wife suggested he try the soap trick. He was skeptical, to put it mildly, but it was cheap, drug free and easy to try and agreed. He slept through the very first night without cramps waking him. He’s been sleeping with the soap for two weeks now, without a single cramp.
    We can’t help but wonder why soap works or how… whatever, it’s amazing.

  11. BJ
    Reply

    What kind of soap should be used? ‘Pure’ Ivory, Dove, generic? thx/bj

  12. O.G.
    Reply

    I put my slice in a pink mesh bag and flipped the ends over my waistband/elastic, with the soap next to the painful hip. Tried it for a week.
    It didn’t do a thing except smell good. :-(

  13. sb
    Reply

    What kind of soap do you need to use for this? Thanks!

  14. CR
    Reply

    Everybody talks about soap curing leg cramps. Do you attach the bare soap to your leg or place it in your socks or do you put it in a bag near your leg to prevent it from moving around?

  15. Alton O.
    Reply

    Yes, for me it works. Shoulder, hip and knee pain all have relief from pain, better than Voltaren Gel and Dedocaine Patches because it’s consistent and does not have side effects.
    I’ve shared my experience with several friends and they all report some relief. I don’t discuss this with my physician because they are trained to ignore these remedies, without scientific evidence. Thank you for sharing others experiences.

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