Nighttime leg cramps are the sudden and involuntary contractions of muscles in your leg. Generally, night cramps occur in your calf muscles, but muscles in your feet or thighs may cramp also. So what do you do when you find yourself suffering from leg cramps? Many health forums suggest unwrapping a bar of soap and leaving it under the sheets.
According to Andrew G. Kowal, MD, a pain management specialist at the Lahey Clinic in Burlington, Massachusetts, the theory behind this home remedy is that a bar of soap will give off the chemical magnesium, which will relieve you of leg cramps.
While there is no scientific evidence supporting this theory, Dr. Jim Sears of the daytime show The Doctors, conducted a twitter poll. Of the respondents, 42 percent of people allegedly used soap to alleviate nighttime leg cramps.
Additionally, it is also rumored soap can relieve pain in restless leg syndrome (RLS). RLS is a disorder where an individual has a sudden urge or need to move his or her legs to stop unpleasant sensations. In another popular medical television show, The Dr. Oz Show, Dr. Mehmet Oz stated placing a bar of lavender soap under the sheets can alleviate RLS. He believes the scent of lavender is relaxing and may be beneficial for the health condition.
However, several physicians refute this idea and suggest a more practical cure for an individual's muscle pain. Dr. John Briffa, a graduate of the University College London's School of Medicine and a current doctor at Hospital of St. John and St. Elizabeth, London, suggest those who suffer from cramps should increase their magnesium intake.
Symptoms for RLS include crawling, creeping, pulling, throbbing and itching sensations. RLS is a condition that can develop at any age. It can be due to a variety of causes such as, heredity, kidney failure or iron deficiency. Both nighttime leg cramps and RLS can be associated with pregnancy.
If you are suffering from either nighttime leg cramps or RLS try lavender soap and see how that works for you. If you are more conventional person who needs scientific evidence visit your healthcare provide and discuss your ways to increase your magnesium intake or other options.