bars of soap

When most people think of muscle cramps what comes to mind are leg cramps. That’s because a “Charlie horse” can be super painful. The muscles in your legs are long and strong and when those muscles contract, especially in the middle of the night, the pain can be excruciating.

But there’s another kind of muscle cramp that can also be incapacitating. Hand cramps can be incredibly painful. Here are just a few descriptors from visitors to our website:

“My fingers get distorted and close up to the point of me having to pry them loose. The muscle between my thumb and my forefinger hurts all the way up to my elbow.” Teresa

“I have the same problem my fingers distort and I have to pry them open and it hurts up to the elbow.  Any ideas please?” Andy

“I don’t know what to do. Most all the time I have cramps in my right hand and fingers, day and night. Please help me.”

A professional fisherman was the person who alerted us to a possible “cure” for hand cramps. He would put in long hours on the water reeling in big fish after big fish. The constant strain on his hands often left him in agony at the end of the day.

When the hand cramps became unbearable he remembered a remedy he heard about on The People’s Pharmacy radio show for leg cramps, ie, putting a bar of soap under the bottom sheet near the feet. He figured, if it can work for leg cramps, why not hand cramps. The rest is history! Read some stories below. The first is from the wife of another fisherman:

“I read your article about using soap in the bed for leg cramps. It really works. My husband had leg cramps for years since he is a fisherman and on his feet 18 hours a day. They brought tears to his eyes, although he is very stoic. He’s had no more leg cramps since we started putting soap under the bottom sheet.

“We were playing cards the other night and he got cramps in his hands, holding the cards, as he sometimes does. I got a bar of soap and put it in his hand. Within a minute the pain subsided. He held the bar for about 10 minutes and the cramp never came back. Now we keep a bar of soap near where we play cards.”

“My left hand was cramping badly, my fingers twisting and enduring a scarcely bearable pain. I googled ‘hand cramps’ and found your page and just now tried the bar of soap ‘cure.’ 
Amazing! It worked within 2 minutes and the cramp hasn’t yet returned (quarter of an hour ago)
. What an indispensable tip.
 Thanks to all contributors at” R.W.

“Everyone is right about the soap. It really does work. I was really skeptical about that, until my mom was cramping in both her hands. She does dialysis three days a week and sometimes she cramps afterwards, so I was looking for something to help her with those hand and leg cramps and I couldn’t believe it when she said that the cramps stopped. Thank you for the home remedy.” I. Bll

“My hands cramp like a birds foot drawn by a string. The hands from a scoop shape sand the pain although bearable lasts a long time. I tried the soap, it seems to have done the trick.” JMD

“I don’t know why this works, but the cramps let up right away. I also popped a couple of tums with magnesium. I notice worse cramps when I don’t get my bananas in. This is a great emergency fix, as I couldn’t even move my fingers. Thanks!” Susan

“I always use any kind of bar soap for any cramps, hands, elbow, arms, legs and so does my daughter. It always works usually within a minute. I also eat bananas and calcium citrate.
But the soap always works. Soap is better.” Lala

Share your own soap story below, whether you hold soap in your hand for hand cramps, put soap in your bed for leg cramps or try soap chips in your socks for restless leg syndrome (RLS) we would like to learn about your experience. Speaking of soap chips, shaving soap is not always easy or fun. That’s why we “invented” People’s Pharmacy Leg Soap. Here’s just one story:

“A friend told me about the soap chip trick when I mentioned the debilitating thigh and calf cramps I had on my last plane ride and was afraid to fly again.
“I used Irish Spring soap under my sheets and my foot (broken foot bones with post arthritis), ankle, calf and hip bursitis pain is all gone. I am astonished!
“I ordered the The People’s Pharmacy Leg Soap from The People’s Pharmacy Store and put the small ones in my socks for a long plane flight. I experienced no cramping or discomfort.  Previously I used leg cramp pills and general pain medicine still with severe leg cramps on and after the plane trip.
“P.S. My internist is skeptical and although she says she has many patients with this problem, I doubt she will advise them of this ‘grandma’s remedy’…Too bad.” J.G.F.

Should you wish to try Leg Soap or Bed Soap, here is a link to our Body Care products, including Bed Soap, Leg Soap, Pomegranate Natural Lip Care, not to mention Aluminum-Free MoM (milk of magnesia) Roll-On Deodorant.

Please do let us know how any of these products work, especially soap for hand cramps, leg cramps or whatever hurts!

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    When you put the soap in the bedsheet for leg cramps, what position are you in even feet cramps?

  2. Robert
    Beaumont Texas

    The soap absolutely works. I used to have incredible pain in my legs. The only thing that helped was to get up and walk it off…
    I couldn’t lift my toes. But, if I could force them upwards the cramp would subside.
    My GF read about soap and I rolled my eyes.
    We tried it by putting a bar of dove soap under the sheets.
    It worked. Amazing.

  3. edith
    north carolina

    Hello, really didn’t think it was going to work as I was having severe hand cramps! But it did! After about 5 mins. It just stopped. Praise God I found you when I was searching for reasons for hand cramps. I will keep the soap with me from now on. Thanks!

  4. Steve
    Hendersonville, Nc

    My troubles came on suddenly shorty after joining the Army. I started having problems with both my thumbs locking up. Then both middle fingers along with numbness and tinging.I was told that I had trigger fingers. I had surgerys on both thumbs to cut ,and release the tendon sheaths so as to allow the knots on tendons to past through. Still had troubles . Then both elbows years later I had surgery for carpal tunnel on my right hand. Still no help! During all this I’ve been prescribed so many differant medication’s that I’ve lost count.So now I’m wondering why my Dr’s have never said anything about soap!Now some thrity years later the same things has moved to both feet and legs. That’s been called neropetly all of this has caused a lot of terribe cramps! I’m at my wits end so I’m going to give soap a try. Thanks for a possible solution for cramps,although I’m going to ask my doctor’s first.Does anyone know whats in soap that is supposed to be a help?Please advise.

  5. Jerrie

    Well I’m using the soap now, but I have tingles and numbness in my fingers and hands.

  6. David
    Stoke-on-Trent England

    66 year old male been having hand cramps for years, just found your site I am going to try soap, thank you all for info. Dave

  7. Ruth
    United kingdom

    I just did it now and it worked. I held a bar if soap in my hands and I felt a soothing sensation from my shoulder down to my palm and pain is gone. Thank you for the home remedy.

  8. Throckmorton

    Spent 5 hours pull starting then using a string trimmer. 4 hours later after 16oz grapefruit juice & a banana, my hands started clenching hard enough to break iron. Fou nd this article, grabbed a bar of Dove & put it into a knit glove to keep it tight to my palm. 10 minutes & problem solved. I’m breaking out more soap just in case things get dicey tonight.

  9. Bek

    I have been dealing with the oddest, painful, distorting hand cramps all morning long with no clue how to make it stop. I held a bar of soap in both hands & am amazed at how well it works. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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