Soap-under- the-sheet therapy for nocturnal leg cramps?

Soap-under- the-sheet therapy

What is supposed to be the mechanism of cure here?

Sorry if this is slightly off topic but I have RLS and find that a simple cure is to increase the amount of iron in your diet. Even take multivitimins which have a 100% iron RDA.

The gullibility of the patient?

What I want to know is how a “cure” like this even gets discovered. Did someone fall asleep with a bar of soap between their feet, and wake up the next morning and say “Eureka!”?

Yes, sorry about that. I should have used the soap to wash with.

Its-a no problem.

I don’t know what is supposed to be the mechanism of cure here, but it sure sounds like hiring a guy to dance around and shake rattles.

A. People want miracle cures. See placebo effect above.

B. People are eternally confusing correlation for causation. Just because the bar of soap was there in no way means that it caused the cramps to go away.

For the record, my mother continues to believe in this particular cure even though I’ve gotten her to admit that it can’t work. And she’s a nurse of 30 some years! :rolleyes:

However, Tonic water (the real stuff with quinine in it) IS a treatment for such. Man, what an excuse for a tall gin & tonic as a nitecap! :smiley:

I dunno about iron, but a doctor can prescribe various medications for restless leg syndrome (Mirapex is the one I take.) Seems more effective than soap.

      • The solution may be not so much a cure as an alleviation of symptoms. If the cramps are caused by poor circulation from being in a specific position and the soap makes it uncomfortable to be in that position, then you might very well automatically change to some other position. …Similar to the tennis ball cure for snoring.

I might accept this if it weren’t for the fact that he excluded specific soaps - Dove and Dial - and doesn’t seem to give any real strict guidelines as to where to put the soap - just that it should go in the area of feet and legs.

I drink straight tonic water every night. No leg cramps anymore.

Some calcium and magnesium wouldn’t hurt either.

But I wouldn’t put any faith in a bar of soap.

Just a BTW-my husband’s doctor prescribed quinine for his leg cramps. Works great!

It may be too soon to say if there is a connection here, but my mom and I have been following the Perricone program as best we can for a couple of months, and she has seen a decrease in the frequency and intensity of leg cramps. It could just be that we’re eating more dairy and thus getting more calcium. We also got rid of coffee, flour, most starches, processed foods, fast foods…Supposedly some of these things are inflammatory.

Just a possibility.

In a more recent column, one of this doctor’s readers reported success with one of the previously excluded soaps. Interpret that any way you like.

Reviving an old thread …
It works. For me, anyway. I have restless leg syndrome. At the foot of my bed under my fitted sheet is a bar of Irish Spring. My legs haven’t given me any trouble since I stuck it there.

My mom used the same thing for her (severe) leg cramps that would wake her up at night.

I figure it’s most likely the placebo effect. Thing is – I don’t care. It’s a hell of a lot cheaper than a prescription, safe to try and if it works … kinda hard to argue with the outcome.

This. My wife and I both suffer from RLS. The soap trick has worked for her, never has for me. We both suspect it’s a placebo, and a placebo that works is good enough for her.

While quinine does help RLS and leg cramps, the dosage in tonic water is laughably small. My wife and I did the math at a point when she couldn’t get pills (the pharmacies were literally out because of short supply). She would have had to drink several gallons of tonic water a day to get the same dose as her pills.

So… I’d say a gin and tonic is about as much a placebo as the bar of soap. Unless of course you believe in homeopathy, in which case the dilution of quinine in tonic water should make it millions of times stronger than the pills.