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What Can You Do For Hand Cramps and Leg Cramps?

Almost everyone has experienced leg cramps at one time or another. What about hand cramps? A fisherman told us about his success with soap for hand cramps.

Most people have heard of leg cramps. They can strike in the middle of the night. Some people call a leg cramp a Charley Horse. But hand cramps can be just as painful and debilitating. This reader shares a “cure” for both hand cramps and leg cramps that could be in your kitchen cupbard.

Q. I suffer from extreme leg cramps as well as debilitating hand cramps. One ounce of pickle juice totally eliminates these cramps in about a minute.

I keep a large jar of dill pickles in the fridge and always have a spare jar in the cupboard. I have used this remedy for 10 to 15 years and it has never failed to ease muscle cramps. The speed of the cure is fantastic.

A. We don’t know whether it’s the sodium or some other ingredient in pickle juice, but many readers also report similar success.

Hand Cramps Are More Common Than You Might Think:

Pickles for Hand Cramps or Tingling:

One reader offered this for his hands:

“I work on a computer all day and my workspace is far from ergonomic. For months I have been waking up with tingling or “asleep” hands.

“The past few nights, I’ve had pickles and pickle juice with dinner on the advice of my boyfriend. On those nights, I’ve had no tingling at all!

“I love pickles, and hope this keeps working. I have seen pickles recommended for muscle cramps and would like to suggest another kind of relief for those of us who aren’t star athletes.”

Joanne says:

“I have tried both sweet and dill pickles. I take a rather high dose of Lasix (furosemide) which never fails to cause widespread cramping; cramping in my toes, feet, legs, up into my groin, in my abdomen, back, arms, shoulders, everywhere. I take potassium and magnesium, which help, but not when I’m cramped up.

“Both sweet and the dill worked great, and very close to instantly.

“For those of us who have to have low sodium, this takes a bit of work. Google low sodium pickle mix, then scroll till you find a result linked to a site called ‘pick your own.’ They have a low sodium pickle recipe, which will even make sweet pickles with stevia, for sugar free sweet pickles.”

Debbie offers this experience:

“I tried dill pickle juice for leg cramps because I stand all day on my feet at work. Believe me dill pickle juice is great!”

Soap for Hand Cramps:

One of the more unusual remedies for hand cramps involves holding a bar of soap. Here are some pretty compelling testimonials:

“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.”

Joe offers this report:

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

Lung-doctor Frank surprised us with this story:

“My wife has also experienced hand cramps relieved by holding a bar of soap. Bed soap prevents her night-time leg cramps. It also helps my mother’s leg cramps upon getting up in the morning, as well as her night-time neck cramps. They 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.”

The Rev E.J. shared her husband’s experience:

“It was 1:15 a.m. and my husband woke up with a severe hand cramp. I typed hand cramping into my computer and it led me to this website. It is now 1:23 a.m. and about 4 minutes ago, he said that the soap seemed to be working. Well, he is holding on tight to the bar of Ivory soap. I previously heard of placing soap on the bed for leg pain, but never for hand cramps. It works!

“OK, he is asleep now with the bar of soap clutched in his hand. Great advice, great home remedy!”

More Home Remedies?

If you love this kind of information you may wish to consult our book, Quick & Handy Home Remedies from The People’s Pharmacy. It is filled with hundreds of simple suggestions and stories about success with things you have in the kitchen cupboard or bathroom. And if you would like to learn more about soap for cramps, we have both Bed Soap and Leg soap to entertain you.

Share your own cramp story below in the comment section and please vote on this article at the top of the page.

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.”.
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