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!!!!”
“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.”
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.
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.