Waking up from a really bad dream is awful, but being awoken from your leg totally spazzing out on you? Yeah, so much worse. Anyone who has ever had a charley horse—AKA when your calf muscle decides to take on a life of its own with a hard-to-soothe (and incredibly painful) muscle spasm—would do just about anything to prevent it from ever happening again. And one of the most-talked-about solutions to the issue might just involve something that’s already sitting in your bathroom.
Before you try to fix the cramping problem, you first have to figure out why it’s happening in the first place. According to the Cleveland Clinic, there are a handful of causes behind the pesky charley horses, including lack of hydration, not getting a proper balance of electrolytes in your diet, not stretching enough, exercising too much, and having poor circulation. But, aside from upping water intake and eating more bananas, there’s a pretty unsuspecting treatment option available to you for treating the pain, and all you need is a bar of soap.
It might sound a little crazy, but putting a bar of soap between your sheets, down by your legs can evidently get rid of those pesky leg cramps.
It might sound a little crazy, but putting a bar of soap between your sheets, down by your legs can evidently get rid of those pesky leg cramps, reports Chron—and there’s some science to back up the tip. In a study published in the Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare, one researcher had a small number of participants use some soap-scented oil on a patch of skin—all of whom had consistent muscular pain and spasms. Crazy enough, the relief came pretty much immediately and lasted between 18 and 30 hours, giving them more restful sleep with no side effects. Still not convinced? Even Harvard Medical School recommends giving the low-risk treatment a shot.
As of right now, there isn’t much insight available as to how soap can rid people of leg cramps, except for findings from a study published in the European Journal of Pain, which notes the ingredient limonene—a fragrance commonly found in soap—could stop the pain. Regardless, you might just want to give the solution a try for yourself, because, as one doc essentially puts it, why not? “I divide medical treatments into two categories, those that may or may not work but carry some risk, and those that may or may not work and carry no risk,” says Jordan D. Metzl, MD, a New York City–based sports medicine specialist. “Whether or not a bar of soap is medically valid, the key from my perspective is that it can’t hurt you. It certainly can’t hurt to give it a try.”
So, if you want to fall asleep with the soothing scents of soap and possibly get some relief, try it out. Considering the claims of its effectiveness and low cost, you don’t have much to lose.
When it comes to cleanliness, should you be using a bar of soap or body wash? Or, find out the natural bar soaps you’ll actually want to wash your face with.
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