soap for hand cramps, stop hand cramps

Almost everyone is familiar with a charley horse, a cramp in the calf muscles. Cramps in large muscles of the calves or thighs are not uncommon, especially during or after vigorous exercise.

Cramps in smaller muscles can also be troublesome. When a hand or a foot cramps, it can cause sharp pain and interfere with the function of the limb. What to do? One reader found a surprising remedy:

Soap for Hand Cramps:

Q. Just two hours ago, I had awful hand cramps that make the bones feel as if they are piling up in a heap on my hand. I’ve never found anything that would relieve them.

Not believing holding a bar of soap in my hand would work, but being desperate, I tried this soap-thing remedy. Lo and behold it actually worked–almost instantly! I will never doubt the soap trick for cramps again.

Home Remedy for Hand Cramps:

A. We know health professionals shudder when we describe this home remedy, but it is inexpensive and helpful for many people.

A professional fisherman was the first person who alerted us to this tactic for hand cramps. He worked for many hours each day reeling in large fish after large fish. By the end of the day he was in agony.

He had heard about using soap for leg cramps and figured it might work for hand cramps as well. He was thrilled with the rapid results.

A woman reported that her husband developed hand cramps while playing cards:

“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.”

To Try the Soap or Not:

We don’t know whether holding a bar of soap in the hand will work for anyone with hand cramps, but we do know that this remedy is easily available, inexpensive and without noticeable side effects. We have observed that home remedies are worth a try as long as they don’t interfere with appropriate medical attention for a serious problem. Since we don’t know of an effective conventional treatment for hand cramps, it shouldn’t hurt to try the soap approach.

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  1. Rita M. P.
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    I use a bar soap for my headaches and for my neck aches. When my hands go to sleep I just hold the bar of soap. In an instant my hands are awakened. I started using a bar of soap when my sister told me about it in February. I came home and put soap in my bed and on my husband’s side of the bed. My husband did not know that I had put the soap on his side of the bed. He had suffered with major leg cramping, and now he does not get it. I tell everyone, especially seniors who are suffering with leg pains, neck pains, and joint pains to just put a bar of soap under their sheets. I carry a bar of soap in my housecoat, one in my purse, and I put one between my skin and a bandage that covers my knee. All my pains are gone.

  2. Cheryl
    Swindon. England.

    Hi, I used soap under my bed sheet last night. I have been taking anti Parkinson’s medication for restless leg syndrome, but it is working less well. I didn’t want to up the dosage. I was absolutely amazed. I had the first full nights sleep in over 10 years. I was very sceptical but I couldn’t believe the results. I don’t know why it works but it does.

  3. amy hall

    Soap works. I don’t know how, ut it does relieve cramps, aches and pains. For me, a bar of Irish Spring under the fitted sheet, and after a good nap, Not only were my aches gone, I was the most relaxed person on the planet.


    I don’t know it works and now, I don’t care.

    I also have a bar of soap on the floor below my desk.

  4. Judy
    Issaquah, WA

    I was prescribed Quinine tablets 5 years ago for my leg cramps (had to get them from a Canadian pharmacy) and they worked wonders. However, one should not take Quinine forever and my doctor didn’t want to renew the prescription for awhile.

    When I ran out of the Quinine, I immediately starting having leg cramps again. Some nights I would have as many as 10. Horrible, horrible. Then another doctor of mine suggested putting Irish Spring hand soap under my bottom sheet. Works wonders. Only problem is that after about 5 days, I might get a tiny little cramp and I know it is time to shave the soap bar. I prefer this to taking more pills like the Quinine and Magnesium (which did not ever work for me).

  5. ron

    I find that taking a Magneium supplement, I have eliminated leg + foot cramps. I take 160 mg in am and one before bedtime.

  6. Joe davis
    Sugar land tx

    I got a cramp in my right hand . I just tried the hand soap. It work in one min. If it’s not the smell then why would soap i under the sheets work for leg cramps. …………?

  7. Corinne

    What about foot cramps? How would you use soap for that?

  8. Jo
    Chicago IL

    I have found that a teaspoon of prepared mustard works great for me. I’ve tried cramp pills, soap, and other remedies. Mustard works so well for me, that I keep a little packet in my purse while traveling.
    If I have to take it during the night, it works within a minute or two.
    I’d be interested to hear if it works this well for anyone else!

  9. frances

    I get cramps in my neck, which is very painful. I carry a little sack of soap in my pocket. when i get the cramps in my neck, I hold the sack with the soap against my neck and in no time the cramp is gone

  10. Marilynn

    Soap not needed! Anything that you can curl your hand around while simultaneously keeping it relaxed will work.

    I get the pains when trying to sleep. I gather up a bunch of my blanker in my hand, concentrate on relaxing it, and IT WORKS.

  11. Mariel

    Thanks so much for the information. I work on a computer all day and sometimes I get hand cramps. Is it a specific shape of soap that provides the relieve?

  12. Lung-doctor Frank
    Harrisonburg, Va

    My wife has also experienced hand cramps relieved by holding a bar of soap. Bed soap prevents her night-time leg cramps. My mother’s leg cramps upon getting up in the morning, as well as her night-time neck cramps resolved with bed soap at night. Many people find a pinch of salt, licked off their hand, promptly (amazingly quickly!) resolves these cramps as well, but soap is safe for those who are on a low-salt diet.

    • Barbara
      Hoffman Estates, Il.

      I had heard this many years ago from Oprah. Will certainly try it.

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