Friday, February 19, 2010

The Agony of de Feet

OK, bear with me, we're about to enter what many might consider to be the Crackpot Zone.

A little background: I've been getting agonizing leg/foot cramps in my sleep for years, which entails hopping out of bed and trying to work out the cramp, going back to bed, then hopping out again when the next cramp hits. Between the agony and the hoppng, the whole experience is not conducive to a great night's sleep.

I'd pretty much given up, and figured it was just something I'd have to learn to live with, when I saw an article in the Oregonian one Thursday (or whichever day of the week they have the homeopathic columns). Their suggested solution for midnight leg cramps made me laugh out loud, but it stayed with me.

Flash forward to the other night. I woke up with a screech when a particularly vicious cramp went over the top of my foot and around one ankle. And I remembered what I read. So I hobbled to the bathroom and grabbed a bar of soap. Yes, soap.

The article said to put a bar of soap under the bottom sheet when you have leg cramps at night. So I put the bar of soap under the bottom sheet. The cramps had abated, so I crawled in and put my feet against the bar of soap.

A few minutes later, a cramp tried to start, then just stopped. That happened several times, but then nothing. No cramps. This is just totally nuts, I thought. But what the hell, I tried it again the next night, and the next. No cramps.

So then I decided to look this whole bar of soap/leg cramps up on Snopes. Their evaluation: undetermined. Enough people say it works that apparently there's something to it, but nobody has the faintest idea WHY it works. Frankly, I'm less concerned with the whys than the fact that it DOES work, and apparently you should change the bar of soap every six months or so.

Snopes said one more thing I thought was interesting: Some people say Dial soap does not work. I'm here to tell you it does.

Click here to see Elleda's photography at the Astoria Photografpix web site


L. Cramp said...

A hot shower before going to bed is effective in curing leg cramps. Pour some hot water on the painful area as well.While you are on bed, stretch the legs as far as you can and keep it in the same position for half an hour. While standing, push your heel onto the floor and bend your toes upwards. This is a good way to treat leg cramps.

tapirgal said...

What a great post, Elleda, and the perfect pic to go with it! I'm a big proponent of homeopathy, and when you learn what's supposed to be behind it, I can understand how it could work, except that I don't know what ingredient in the soap is supposed to fix cramps. Years ago I found that taking calcium can also fix them almost immediately. It worked with menstrual cramps (no need to worry about that any more :) as well as night-time leg cramps. What worked for me was plain old calcium lactate, although I know the drill, you're supposed to have calcium with other minerals, but for 40 years, I didn't and it worked. With the calcium, I found relief within seconds, not even minutes. I have to buy some more. I've begun having a few again. Mine are in the calves, mostly.

Elleda said...

Thanks! Actually, being a doctor's daughter, I'm not a huge proponent of homeopathy. But hey, if something works, it works.
I agree, the soap thing makes no sense at all, but it still works. Go figure.
My cramps would occur in all kinds of locations from my toes all the way up my calves. Don't know why they started, but at least they've stopped for now(fingers crossed!).