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Remedies for Leg Cramps

Many health concerns can cause leg cramps, especially at night. This is a guide about remedies for leg cramps.

Woman with a leg cramp.
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August 22, 2016 Flag

I use to wake up at least 4 times a night with 1 to 5 charlie horses in my legs. They were so painful I would be screaming. Then a nurse told me what to do. Buy a brand new bar of soap, it must be white, like Ivory or Dove. Put it at the foot of the bed under your bottom sheet. It will work for 7 nights, then take it out and put a new one in. Sounds strange, but it works.

August 25, 2016 Flag
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I am looking for the recipe using apple cider vinegar, ginger juice, and garlic juice.

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February 5, 2011 Flag
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Is there something you can take to help prevent leg cramps?

By Doris from MI

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February 7, 20111 found this helpful
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For several years I had terrible leg cramps almost nightly. After trying all the "folk" remedies and my doctor's suggestions (I'm on several prescription medications and can't use some of the supplements), I discovered that doing some leg stretches before going to bed have eliminated the cramps. All I do is stand on one foot, raise the other leg behind me, grasp that ankle with my hand and pull up until I feel the muscles stretch. Be sure to keep the bent knee perpendicular to the floor. Hold the stretch for 20 - 30 seconds, then do the other leg.

If you have trouble balancing on one foot as I do, just hold onto something to steady yourself.

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May 10, 2011 Flag
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I have been getting awakened 3 or 4 times a night with cramps at the front of my right leg at the shin bone, then it travels down to my foot and toes. Anyone else have this trouble?

By Karen

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May 14, 20111 found this helpful
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Leg cramps are also caused by dehydration. Be sure you are drinking enough water. Not soda, coffee, or tea. Those do not count. You must drink water.

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August 25, 2008 Flag
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My dh and I had a bad case each of the "twitches" the other night. Neither his legs nor mine would stop twitching for quite some time, and even getting up and walking around did not help. It made sleeping impossible until finally our legs calmed down.

Is there anything that anyone could recommend. Please be aware that I live in Oz, and what you might find common and everyday in your country may be different or not available in mine. I'd really welcome any suggestions. Thank you for your time and trouble.

Leonie from Warrnambool, Victoria, AUSTRALIA

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August 26, 20080 found this helpful
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The fix may depend on what type of problem is causing the twitching.

For me, magnesium tablets and icing daily helps a bit to relax the muscle...but I have a compressed nerve under my calf. This twitching is caused when I feel like my leg is like a winch being pulled tighter, and tighter, and tighter until it explodes!

Other suggestions by my doctor was tonic water (also known as quinine water) nightly, daily doses of major electrolytes (in my case, drinking a 12 oz portion of the lower calorie Gatorade), etc.

In my younger days, I would have muscle cramping that would be severe enough to lead to twitching. Potassium usually helped.

But I would strongly suggest visiting a doctor when possible. There are many different causes of leg twitching and you might need physical therapy to correct them as well.

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July 12, 2013 Flag
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In my mid fifties, I started to get agonizing leg cramps in my calves and feet at night. I tried different remedies but could not eliminate them. I like to watch Korean Dramas, so I tried eating the Korean staple food, kimchi for fun. I noticed that when I ate a little kimchi, I did not get leg cramps.

Now I just eat two mouthfuls of kimchi each day and I am leg cramp free. Works like a miracle for me. Kimchi is very hot and spicy so you need to eat it, like you would a relish, with something. You can eat it with rice, eggs, meat, fish, tofu, or chicken or whatever, at any time of the day. Kimchi is is usually made with cabbage fermented with hot pepper. It is very high in nutrients, and can be easily absorbed in the stomach. I don't know why it works, it just does.

December 8, 2011 Flag
3 found this helpful

My legs tend to cramp at night. I tried elevating on a pillow but I always lost it at night. So I started putting my heavier reading pillow, the kind that fits behind you and props you up, under my legs at night.

July 26, 2012 Flag
4 found this helpful

It occured to me that my night cramps happened most often when I have been eating foods like eggs, tomatoes and proteins. I went online and looked for a list of acidic foods and found a website that gives a good idea of what foods are acidic and therefore should be eaten less often.

June 20, 2013 Flag
1 found this helpful

I suffer form night leg cramps. I have kidney disease which prevents taking potassium or magnesium. I need suggestions please.

By wilsonmargie70

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Anonymous Flag
April 16, 20160 found this helpful

I agree, tonic water is a life saver

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November 28, 2012 Flag
4 found this helpful

This may sound crazy but it actually works. My sister told me she had bad leg cramps that prevented a restful night's sleep. She put a bar of soap, any soap, under the top sheet. That's right, a bar of soap! For whatever reason, it works.

May 2, 2010 Flag
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I'm looking for recipe for a vinegar, garlic, and ginger concoction for leg cramps, any ideas? Thanks for any help.

By Janet from AR

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May 7, 20100 found this helpful
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I've had leg cramps since I was a kid ( half a century ago) and find them worse in the summer. A doctor once told me that not keeping hydrated enough can cause a potassium imbalance.

What works for me if I'm getting a run on those charley horses is to increase my water intake; eating a banana and drinking a little OJ also helps.

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September 16, 2014 Flag
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My legs are so sore from leg cramps at night and my hands also. There are not many meds I can take as I have a very bad stomach, and tons of allergies. I tried Biofreeze rub, ice pack, and heat with no results. I need help. I can't take meds that cause blurred vision as I only have one eye.

By Kay A

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March 21, 20150 found this helpful

Try taking a calcium supplement with magnesium at night. And for a quick remedy for the cramps is drink dill pickle vinegar. It will stop the cramp in less than 3 mins. But the calcium is your best bet for long term.

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October 1, 2014 Flag
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My age is 65 years, I have been a sports man and athlete my whole life. I regularly used to drink alcohol. I was a regular victim of cramps, sometimes in the back while reversing the car.

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