Remedies for Leg Cramps

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

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Question: Stopping Leg Cramps

By doris 1

Is there something you can take to help prevent leg cramps?

By Doris from MI

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By Tahloolabelle 36 90 Flag

February 5, 2011Best Answer

You should have a diet that has adequate potassium (potatoes, bananas, milk, oranges, prunes, spinach, tomatoes are a few). If you are starting a new exercise regimen or newly active then it may be that your body is depleted of potassium. This may be just a symptom of a serious malady, which means it may be time to ck with your MD.

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By Cathy Glodzik 1 Flag

February 7, 2011Best Answer

Have you tried increasing your calcium intake? I take calcium supplements, and whenever the leg cramps start up, I know that I have been skimping on the calcium! When I resume or increase the calcium, the leg cramps ease up greatly! Good luck!

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By Pat 17 105 Flag

February 7, 2011Best Answer

Hylands Leg Cramp Remedy, available at Walmart. I suffered from leg cramps for years until I found this product.

Pat

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By Grey Knight 1 15 Flag

February 7, 2011Best Answer

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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Question: Remedy for Shin Bone Leg and Toe Cramps at Night

By Karen Kelley 1 1

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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By Bethany 10 1 Flag

May 10, 2011Best Answer

Try calcium, Magnesium, zinc.

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By Veronica 10 114 Flag

May 11, 2011Best Answer

That was happening with my mom, she found somewhere that it could be caused by lack of potassium, so now she eats a banana every night. Sounds weird, but it works. If I were you, I'd go to the doctor to rule out anything more serious.

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By susan 33 441 Flag

May 11, 2011Best Answer

I learned, while working in home care nursing, that night cramps can be caused by lack of calcium in the muscles. They begin to contract from this. Try taking calcium before bedtime. Warning: if this helps, stopping the calcium will bring them back again.

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By Mary Nelson 5 50 Flag

May 14, 2011Best Answer

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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Question: Remedies For Twitching Legs

By Leonie 4 2

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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By guest (Guest Post) Flag

August 25, 2008Best Answer

There is a syndrome called Restless Leg Syndrome. If it continues you need to see a doctor. There are prescription medications to help.

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By Kathleen Bowman 1 Flag

August 25, 2008Best Answer

My husband and I get the same thing, if you have a massager, take turns massaging each others legs, it will work the twitching out enough for you to go back to sleep. Then the next morning start eating bananas to get your potassium, drink some milk for the calcium and increase you magnesium.

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By Concetta 4 77 Flag

August 26, 2008Best Answer

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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Tip: Kimchi to Treat Night Leg Cramps

By Madeleine N. 1 1

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.

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    Tip: Easing Leg Cramps

    By ann 22 9

    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. I never lose my pillow, and it has really helped with the leg cramp.

    By ann from Climax, NC

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    Tip: Change Diet To Relieve Night Cramps

    By Cornelia 45 72

    After much puzzlement, it occured to me that my night cramps happened most often when I have been eating foods like eggs, tomatoes and proteins (meat, dairy, etc.). 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. It also lists which foods are more alkaline and therefore should be eaten more of.

    I hope that others who suffer night cramps will benefit from a change to their diet, it is helping me. Fair warning, night cramps can be so strong they'll break your legs, so do be careful about what you eat. I'm fortunate to have very dense bones, so mine didn't break, but they would have on someone who's bones are porous. Hard lesson learned, for me.

    Source: an online search which led me to this website (there are others): http://rense.com/1.mpicons/acidalka.htm

    By Cornelia from OR

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    Question: Remedy for Night Leg Cramps

    By wilsonmargie70 1

    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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    By Janette 91 153 Flag

    November 20, 2013

    I suffered from severe leg cramps so bad that my legs would bruise. I found this solution to be skeptical until I tried it. Put a bar of Ivory soap down in your socks. I broke a bar in half for each leg. I could at first feel like one was coming on then it abruptly stopped. I swear by this. I have not had a cramp since. The soap has to be white and simple. Thats why I chose the Ivory soap. I found this on the internet. Try it even if you might be skeptical. What have you got to loose (except leg cramps). Hope this helps. Worked for me.

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    Tip: Soap For Leg Cramp Relief

    By Irene M. 20

    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.

    I really couldn't believe it until I tried it myself. You have to do it to believe it but it works! Just sharing for anyone else that has leg cramps.

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      Question: Remedy for Nightly Leg Cramps

      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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      Most Recent Answer

      By little red hen 2 Flag

      March 21, 2015

      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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      Question: Using Vinegar, Garlic, and Ginger for Leg Cramps

      By janet 2

      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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      By Candy Killion 10 410 Flag

      May 7, 2010Best Answer

      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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      Question: Leg Cramps While Sleeping

      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, at times in my tummy while laughing and many a time due to any body movement in any place of my body. Now that I have controlled my intake of alcohol, I still get cramps in my legs especially my calves and feet while I am fast asleep and have to jump out of bed and try different postures to rid the cramps. Please guide me as to how control these painful cramps.

      By Sheryar from Quetta, Pakistan

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      By Myrna 17 1,083 Flag

      October 13, 2014

      If you are drinking a lot of either tea or coffee daily that contains caffein which are diuretics, then you need to drink more water and less of the caffeinated drinks. In a few days, the leg cramping should cease and you'll sleep better. Otherwise, if still nothing changes after doing this, then check with your doctor to get a blood test to determine if your body is in need of something more that cramping is a symptom of.

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      Question: Leg Cramps While on Diabetes Medication

      By Faye Clayton 5

      What diabetes medicine is the person on that sent in feedback about the power drink by Coke? She had leg cramps. I am having the same thing on Januvia.

      Faye from AR

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      By badwater 263 654 Flag

      December 22, 2008Best Answer

      My diabetes medicine, Metformin, depletes my Vitamin B-12 out of my body. It might cause other vitamin deficiencies, that I don't know about. I do have toe and leg cramps when I don't take my Magnesium and Calcium supplements. I'm taking 2 a day of each, once in the morning, once at night. As long as I do, my backaches tend to go away.

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      Question: Leg Cramps from Kidney Disease

      By sensible 1

      My husband has kidney disease and is at about 11 percent right now. He's been suffering from severe leg cramps at night and hurting. He has a history of high potassium so they put him on meds to help keep it under control. I'm just wondering if any body else knows anything on this subject, or has any ideas.

      By sensible fromKnox, TN

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      Best Answer

      By Pat 17 105 Flag

      May 18, 2010Best Answer

      I had leg cramps nearly all my life, well before I had kidney disease and I buy the homeopathic remedy, Hylands Leg Cramp Remedy, at Walmart. It has a small amount of quinine which relieves leg cramps quickly for me, hope it works for you. I also eat bananas for the potassium.

      Pat

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      Tip: Apple Cider Vinegar for Leg Cramps

      By Lili 4 2

      I have been having painful leg cramps, particularly at night, for years. I had tried just about everything and decided to try drinking apple cider vinegar, about a tablespoonful, just before bed and on rising. The cramps disappeared. I took this for a couple of months and then stopped. I haven't had any cramps since. I like sour things so I could take it straight but you could add honey and a little water.

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        Tip: Antacids For Muscle Cramps

        By lesley 4 79

        This tip was given to me by my daughter and has worked very well for me as I had been getting a great deal of cramps in my hands. It is very simple, chew 2 Tums, or any antacid that is taken for an acid reflux or upset tum ;)

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          Archive: Stopping Leg Cramps

          What is good for leg cramps?

          Marie From Petersburg, VA

          Feedback:

          RE: Leg Cramp Remedies

          You're not going to believe this, but don't be too skeptical 'cause it works! Place a bar of soap underneath the fitted sheet at the foot of your mattress. Believe me, I was skeptical until I tried it and it worked!

          After a while, this will stop working. When it does, just replace the bar of soap with a new one and put the "old" one in the shower.

          No one knows why this works, but it does! (10/25/2006)

          By tneisess

          RE: Leg Cramp Remedies

          I have had leg and toe cramps in the past, but I have increased my potassium intake and haven't had any problems. I just take the supplement for a few days and stop when I no longer have problems. I hope this helps. (10/25/2006)

          By kelynsh

          RE: Leg Cramp Remedies

          I can't believe this question came up now. 2 weeks ago at bowling, my team mate who is 80 was telling all of us about putting a bar of soap under your fitted sheets and it'll stop leg cramps. She said her niece from California, who works at a hospital , told her about it. Guess I'll have to try this. I'm 50 and get leg cramps in the middle of the night. (10/25/2006)

          By maggie3956

          RE: Leg Cramp Remedies

          I used to have leg cramps until I started taking Vitamin E. (10/25/2006)

          By Ruth Wiebe

          RE: Leg Cramp Remedies

          Be sure that your calcium, selenium, magnesium and potassium levels are where they should be by eating your fruits and veggies, or taking supplements. Also, MagniLife has a product called Restless Legs Relief that does wonders for any muscle cramps. It should be found in any good health food store or, can be ordered online. (10/25/2006)

          By nancy80501

          RE: Leg Cramp Remedies

          This one has always worked for me (and for one of my children who was prone to leg cramps) and it's virtually free. Salt water. That is, stir some salt into a glass of warm water and drink it. Not too much, or it's undrinkable. and too much salt is really bad for you. Try just a little salt, wait to see if it works.. I can't give specific amounts of salt because over the years I've just got used to my own 'pinches'. If the cramps don't ease in a short time, drink a little more. it woks for me 100% percent.
          Ellie. (10/25/2006)

          By elliecat

          RE: Leg Cramp Remedies

          Try Vitamin E, it has always worked for our family (10/25/2006)

          By PICO

          RE: Leg Cramp Remedies

          Be sure to tell your doctor if you have cramps in your feet or legs! It could be a sign of poor circulation or deep vein thrombosis. It could be life threatening.

          I used to get cramps in my legs before my doctor put me on Potassium supplements. I take medicine for my high blood pressure. That makes your body low in potassium. I see others here have posted about potassium and other minerals as well.

          Don't drink salt water if you have high blood pressure, please. BTW, salt substitutes (aka "low" salt) are potassium chloride which if used would help your potassium shortage. Regular salt, sodium chloride wont help you IMHO. (10/25/2006)

          By Carol in PA

          RE: Leg Cramp Remedies

          Before going to bed, drink a couple ounces of orange juice. Works for me. If you have leg cramps at other times, drink orange juice with a tsp. of sugar. (10/25/2006)

          By Lollie

          RE: Leg Cramp Remedies

          My mother drinks a little tonic water before bedtime and it helps her and my husband takes magnesium to help him. But a bar of soap is much more thrifty than either of these options. Thanks! (10/25/2006)

          By Happy05

          RE: Leg Cramp Remedies

          For leg cramps, eat a banana each day. It's the potassium that helps. My son told me this is what the coach gave the football players when they got cramps at high school football. Works great for us. Also helped my granddaughter when she was pregnant. (10/25/2006)

          By Rosemary

          RE: Leg Cramp Remedies

          I've always been told by the doctor or leader at Weight Watchers that you're not getting enough water or potassium which you can get from eating a banana. So, the easiest thing for me has always been drink and eat a banana daily. (10/25/2006)

          By Nanc

          RE: Leg Cramp Remedies

          We have the bar of soap under the sheets and it has worked for my husband for 2 years now. He used to get leg cramps nearly every night that wakened him. Not once since we put the soap in place. He still does get cramps occasionally if he sits too long at the computer. He has our Dr. write a prescription for Quinine Capsules. They work to alleviate the cramps. Quinine tablets are also available in some Health Food stores. (10/25/2006)

          By Harlean from Arkansas

          RE: Leg Cramp Remedies

          Not sure if they're during the day or when you are drifting off to sleep. If it's at night-time and your leg is jerking/cramping, then you are not getting enough salt in your diet. Worked a treat for me. (10/26/2006)

          By Cathy

          RE: Leg Cramp Remedies

          What kind of soap is best? (10/26/2006)

          By JMRoss

          RE: Leg Cramp Remedies

          This sounded pretty far fetched when my hubby told me, but some how it works. His cousins wife has used this remedy for years. She places a bar of SOAP under the bottom sheet near her feet, and she said it works.. My hubby and I tried her remedy.

          We use COAST SOAP (2) bars, one for each of us. IT WORKED, no more leg cramps at night. Our sheets Are Scented With Coast. Try to keep your feet touching the soap. We were told that IVORY does not work!

          If this fails to help you, then seek a doctor's help.
          (10/26/2006)

          By Sherry

          RE: Leg Cramp Remedies

          My doctor prescribed Quinine tablets for me and it works wonders - no more cramps! (10/27/2006)

          By tedsmom

          RE: Leg Cramp Remedies

          I get leg cramps at night, and for years I have done this to stop them. it works for me.

          Pinch the skin under your nose tight till you feel the pain go away. hope it works for you. (08/05/2007)

          By Alice

          RE: Leg Cramp Remedies

          I have had a real problem with leg cramps since childhood. Sometimes when I was a pre-teen I would wake up screaming with Charlie Horses and my mom would come in and rub my legs until the muscles finally let loose and quit cramping. When I was about ten someone told my mom to have me drink salt water as soon as they started and it works 100% of the time.

          My son was cursed with the same problem and every time he started cramping I would give him salt water. Within thirty seconds to a minute the cramps would go away and wouldn't come back the rest of the night.

          I am almost forty now and I still use the salt method. It may not be a good idea for someone with high blood pressure but I am telling you, IT WORKS!

          Just yesterday I woke up with a cramp right beside my shin bone, so I immediately went to the kitchen, grabbed the salt, poured about a teaspoon in my hand, tossed the salt straight into my mouth and washed it down with a few drinks of soda. Fifteen second later - NO CRAMPS! (06/09/2008)

          By rindyrue

          RE: Leg Cramp Remedies

          Tried the soap, and my God, it worked last night. Thought this was a "crazy" idea but when you have those cramps at night, you'll try anything.

          I always use liquid body wash so I went nuts looking in the closet last night. Lo and behold, found one.

          Thanks, finally got a good night's sleep.
          (07/21/2008)

          By Sue

          RE: Leg Cramp Remedies

          A bar of soap under the sheets really does work! At least it has for me. I didn't get leg cramps/charlie horses until I became pregnant and my grandpa told me about a week ago to put a bar of soap under my sheet. I laughed at first but decided to try it, why not? The bananas and water weren't working very well so I did and I've gone 5 nights without them. It's amazing! (10/01/2008)

          By kassie

          Archive: Stopping Leg Cramps At Night

          If you have leg cramps at nighttime, while trying to sleep, keep a salt shaker on your nightstand. Once your leg cramp sets in, pour some salt into the palm of your hand and lick it. Your leg cramps should subside soon.

          By Terri

          Feedback:

          RE: Stopping Leg Cramps At Night

          A friend read somewhere about a bar of soap keeping leg cramps away. Just put the bar of soap (NOT Dial and NOT Dove) between your bottom fitted sheet and the mattress, and leave it there. I didn't really believe it, but my husband insisted I try it anyway. He put a bar of Yardley's English Lavender soap in our bed, and I have not had a
          single leg cramp (Charley Horse) since. I had them every single night of my life, but none for over a
          month now. It's wonderful. I wish I understood the chemical reason for this working. It must be some kind of chemical which prevents the cramps.

          I'm telling everyone I know about our experience, and I hope that they all have the same results. Leg cramps can be one of the most painful things and once they start, it's very difficult to relax which you must do in order for them to quit entirely.


          God Bless,

          Julia in Orlando, FL (03/28/2005)

          RE: Stopping Leg Cramps At Night

          I have awful leg cramps, but also have high blood pressure. Therefore, I am supposed to have LITTLE
          salt. Don't know which is worse.

          My husband has used the bar soap suggestion when he has a leg cramp and it works for him. He just puts it right under his knee on the leg that is cramping - this may not be clear. Also it has to be wrapped in a cloth. He keeps this in his bedside table.

          I'm checking with my doctor to see if mine is caused by one of the medications I use. Thanks for all the suggestions. (03/28/2005)

          By Billie

          RE: Stopping Leg Cramps At Night

          Leg cramps can be a sign that your body is low on potassium, so eat potatoes or bananas are also good too. Also, if you drink a lot of milk each day that can also cause them so try cutting down on the amount of milk you drink. (03/28/2005)

          By tiffanyau

          RE: Stopping Leg Cramps At Night

          The body needs a proper BALANCE of potassium and sodium (salt). So, if you eat too much potassium; ie: bananas, potatoes, even milk, and not enough sodium in the body, it could cause the cramps, too. But please check with your doctors, not good to begin using extra salt or potassium without advise. How long does it take for the soap to ease the cramp, could it just be mind over matter type of thing? Thankfully I don't often suffer night leg cramps, but would love to know how/why this works. (03/28/2005)

          By kidsNclutter

          RE: Stopping Leg Cramps At Night

          I drink Tonic Water, with quinine and it helps a lot. I use the diet kind. (03/28/2005)

          By Ginny

          RE: Stopping Leg Cramps At Night

          This sounds very strange,but in the Fresno Bee Newspaper some time ago a Doctor wrote;"If you have leg cramps, put a bar of soap in your bed. Not anything like Dove or Oil of Olay but plain soap." It works for me. (03/29/2005)

          RE: Stopping Leg Cramps At Night

          Salt works because it means you're not getting enough in your diet. Just add a little more at night before you go to bed. If your legs are twitching just as you start to fall asleep too, this is another sign of a deficiency. Prevention is better than pain! (05/03/2005)

          By Cathy

          RE: Stopping Leg Cramps At Night

          I have tried everything. I had my blood work done, I took natural pills, prescriptions, drank 'nasty' tonic water, stretched my legs, I have done it all. The soap WORKS!! If you try it and still have cramps, add another bar of soap. I have 2 bars of Safeguard in their own sock. They are pinned to my mattress pad out of my way, I don't even sleep under the covers some nights. I don't care why it works I am just thankful that it does. Tell everyone you know. (07/31/2005)

          By Donna Williams

          RE: Stopping Leg Cramps At Night

          My brother-in-law insisted that I try putting soap in my bed for the terrible leg cramps and foot and toe cramps I get all night and day. After four days they have totally disappeared. His mother won't try it and neither will his wife so I hope they will after my experience. (04/30/2007)

          By Carmen

          RE: Stopping Leg Cramps At Night

          I don't understand the thing about soap. How do you use it. What do you do with the soap when you have a leg cramp. I have leg cramps and they are very painful. I am losing sleep because of them and I am very sore the day after any help I can get will be appreciated. Thank you (10/23/2007)

          By Isabell

          RE: Stopping Leg Cramps At Night

          My husband suffers from occasional leg cramps, but nightly RLS. He twitches constantly, so much so that it moves the entire bed and I can't sleep. Without telling him, I placed a small bar of soap between the sheets near the bottom of the bed on his side. It has been three nights of stillness, with hardly any restless leg syndrome. I hate to even tell him about it, as he would not believe it. But that seems to disprove the psychological effect, as he does not even know that the soap is there. (01/04/2008)

          By Annette

          RE: Stopping Foot/Toe Cramps At Night

          I have no clue why - but the bar of soap thing works. I tried one night out of total desperation. I constantly get the toe/foot cramps at night. I've tried the quinine water (doesn't always work for me)I wear socks to bed at night and I have a small hotel size bar of soap in each of of them. Sounds totally weird but it has worked for the past three weeks. The only other thing that works (but it takes about 15-20 minutes to kick in) is to take an Advil. I would love to know how it works - anybody have an answer for that one. (04/15/2008)

          By Shelbygirl

          RE: Stopping Leg Cramps At Night

          I have been using the soap in the bed for more than a year, and it works 100%, I started with Ivory Soap, but have switched to Irish Spring as the smell is better. The soap would fall out of the bed sometimes, and a cramp would come, so I now place the plain soap in a plastic bag (poly bag) and pin it to the sheet with a safety pin. Works like a charm. You do not need to buy any of the advertised remedies, and one cake of soap will last indefinitely. Sometimes I get a cramp while driving, and for this I take a quarter of a quinine tablet. Stops the pain almost immediately. Been using the quinine for more than 35 years. Just get a few tablets and divide each tablet into four parts (12/11/2008)

          By Richard

          RE: Stopping Leg Cramps At Night

          Bananas (01/30/2009)

          By Allen

          Archive: Stopping Leg Cramps

          My husband has experienced some bad leg cramps at night during the past couple of months. Somewhere in the deep recesses of my senior brain I had "filed" this homegrown remedy. This cramp was so bad that he couldn't even walk to the kitchen.

          I went to the refrigerator and got him a couple of kosher baby dill pickles. He ate them, and in just a few minutes the cramp completely subsided. Don't ask me how or why, but it has worked on the two different times I've given him the pickles.

          Source: I'm not sure where I heard this, but I'm at least glad I remembered to try it.

          By Sandy from Elon, NC

          Feedback:

          RE: Stopping Leg Cramps

          It sounds like a low potassium problem; pickles, bananas and potatoes are high in potassium. I know because I have had the same problem in the past. My legs would cramp so bad that they'd draw clear up to my chest. "IT WOULDN'T HURT TO GET HIS POTASSIUM CHECKED BY A DOCTOR." Hope he gets better. (05/13/2009)

          By carlanwright01

          RE: Stopping Leg Cramps

          Thanks for that tip. I also read that you can get leg cramps from not drinking enough fluids. (05/14/2009)

          By mulberry204

          RE: Stopping Leg Cramps

          It's the vinegar in the pickle juice that helped your husband. If he suffers from cramps regularly, it would pay him to go to a health food store and buy some Quinine tablets and take them on a regular basis for awhile. I, too, have a problem with cramps every now and then, so I keep a bottle on hand all the time. If I start having cramps in my legs or feet, I'll take a tablet a day for a few days and then stop. Once upon a time, you could buy them in drugstores but I guess the FDA stopped that - now, as far as I know, they are available only in health food stores. Hope this suggestion helps and God bless you. (05/14/2009)

          By tedsmom

          RE: Stopping Leg Cramps

          I also get leg cramps and the banana works for me. (05/14/2009)

          By Cindy in Texas

          RE: Stopping Leg Cramps

          Would eating a pickle or two a day help prevent getting the cramps? My elderly mom has them pretty regularly, bad enough to wake her up from a sound sleep. (05/14/2009)

          By PamWh

          RE: Stopping Leg Cramps

          Be smart, be prepared for those gut-wrenching leg cramps. Keep an attractive jar at the ready to grab of pickle juice next to place where you sleep/ so no need to get out of bed..close enough to grab and gulp 2 - 3 swigs.
          A note about quinine. It can cause hearing problems, so it's best to either avoid it or use as a last resort. (05/14/2009)

          By moonylisa

          RE: Stopping Leg Cramps

          Pickles provide vinegar and salt. The salt helps replace electrolytes lost through perspiration or other fluid loss. Does he take a diuretic? Be careful with quinine. I used it successfully when I was 20. When 63, I took it for four days and awoke partially deaf. It is a fairly common side effect. I DO take calcium with Vitamin D twice daily. I also got my thyroid regulated. Now leg cramps are minor, if not gone. Good luck! (05/14/2009)

          By coreenhart

          RE: Stopping Leg Cramps

          Your potassium is low. You need to start eating bananas or I think green peas also will to the trick. I make sure my family eats bananas at least every so often. I can keep track of that . (05/14/2009)

          By Teresa Kay

          RE: Stopping Leg Cramps

          Tonic water works for me!
          (05/14/2009)

          By ILuvDobes

          RE: Stopping Leg Cramps

          I asked a pharmacist about what to do about restless leg and leg cramps. He told me to take vitamin E. I have been taking it for 6 years and have never had to go on prescription medicine. I have also eaten bananas to help out. Just be careful if you try potassium vitamins. My brother took some and it literally tied him up in a knot, he was cramped up in all his extremities and couldn't straighten anything out straight. (05/14/2009)

          By micksgirl

          RE: Stopping Leg Cramps

          One needs B-vitamin complex for this. Give it time, it will work! (05/17/2009)

          By Toebeanie

          RE: Stopping Leg Cramps

          Be sure you are getting adequate calcium, magnesium and Vitamin D. It is not enough in a multiple vitamin tablet. These all need each other to work. At least 1000 mgs calcium a day. Make sure it is a good brand or it will pass through you. If a calcium tablet does not dissolve within one minute, in a glass of water, buy another brand and try it. (05/17/2009)

          By Toebeanie

          RE: Stopping Leg Cramps

          This isn't a preventative, but if you should feel leg cramps coming on in the middle of the night, this simple method takes away the pain lickety-split.

          While sitting up in bed, keep the offending leg as straight as possible and grasp your toes. Pull the toes back toward you. Note, if you don't feel the stretch down the back of your lower leg all the way to the knee, then you're not doing it right.

          When done correctly, the calf muscles are forced to stretch, which means the charley horse can no longer contract, so it disappears like magic. (05/17/2009)

          By Mrs. V

          RE: Stopping Leg Cramps

          This may sound 'mad' However it has always helped me. When I have been suffering with cramp during the night I use a tip I read in a magazine. Take a pair of socks or pantyhose you have worn, put them on the floor at the side of your bed in the shape of a "X" and leave them there overnight. It has always worked for me, crazy or not. It is very comforting to know that I have some help I can put into practice very quickly. (05/18/2009)

          By min crun

          Archive: Stopping Leg Cramps

          I get leg cramps at night, even though I take calcium. I read that if you put a bar of soap, preferably Dial, under your top sheet near your feet the cramps will go away. I thought it was crazy, but tried it and low, and behold it worked. I have no clue how, but it does.

          Source: A friend.

          By Handicapped91 from Peabody, MA

          Feedback:

          RE: Stopping Leg Cramps

          My doctor suggested that I drink about 4-6 ounces of tonic water daily or take a calcium tablet twice a day. As I don't like the taste of tonic water (with or without the gin) (hahaha), I elected to take the calcium. I seldom get leg cramps at night any more. (10/01/2009)

          By duanedv

          RE: Stopping Leg Cramps

          Quinine. (10/02/2009)

          By melody_yesterday

          RE: Stopping Leg Cramps

          I think eating bananas for the potassium is good, too. I haven't had them in a long time. Walmart carries Hylands Leg Cramp Remedy in their vitamin and herbal section, it is very good for stopping them if you do get one.


          Pat (10/05/2009)

          By desertgal

          RE: Stopping Leg Cramps

          My husband used to take calcium pills for leg cramps, but then our doctor suggested that he take 2 or 3 Tums tablets daily. Tums have calcium in them and they're a lot cheaper than buying calcium pills at the drugstore. (10/14/2009)

          By Mlina

          Archive: Stopping Leg Cramps

          I would love a home remedy or supplement suggestion for toe, foot, and leg cramps. I have been getting all of these with increased frequency. My second toes bend down. I get them in the arch of my foot, and the sides and back of my ankle and calf.

          I should mention that the circulation in this leg is compromised from an accident years ago. It happens in my good leg on occasion, also. These cramps make me go from a sound sleep, off the bed and standing in less than a second. They are that bad. Does anyone have any tips for relief from these? Please help.

          By Sandy from Pittsburgh, PA

          Feedback:

          RE: Stopping Leg Cramps

          I share your pain, I have had them so bad that I thought I was going to pass out. The only thing that remotely lessened the pain was sticking my leg in COLD water under the tub faucet. I find that if I drink more fluids I don't get them as badly if at all. I hope this helps. (12/06/2009)

          By mamie11152

          RE: Stopping Leg Cramps

          Leg cramps and Charlie horses can be very painful. I found what really works for me is to add calcium, magnesium, and potassium to my diet. You can eat a banana for the potassium, and take a vitamin supplement that has calcium, vitamin D, and magnesium. The vitamin D helps your body absorb the calcium. Also, if you are taking any medications make sure that you take them at different times of the day and they don't interfere with each other. This works for me and also helps with my bones. Good luck and I hope this helps. (12/06/2009)

          By Busy Me

          RE: Stopping Leg Cramps

          Both me and my partner get these nasty cramps too! Aren't they the worse thing!? They wake us up from a sound sleep! and they bend our toes into strange contortions! We've found that we get them most often when we are dehydrated and/or lacking sleep.

          For mild leg cramps during the summer when it's super hot and I'm sweating a lot, I've found that if I eat something salty like a small bag of chips or if I salt my food or put a dash of salt into my drink (I rarely use salt) that I won't get the mid-calf cramps. Also, Calcium and especially Potassium is important to help stop leg cramps, try potassium supplements and/or eating several bananas each day.

          With me, it really helps my severe leg and foot cramps if I get up and walk around. Also, sometimes I'll put a heating pad on them. My partner try's to relax and thinks "I can stop these with my mind" as he takes deep breaths and thinks "these will go away" and this is what stops them for him. The worse thing is to think about the pain because think about the pain makes it intensify!

          I've also found that if you face a wall and stand with your feet back 2 or 3 feet from the wall then lean into the wall with your hands flat against the wall and slowly (keeping your body straight) lean into the wall by bending your elbows that this will stretch your calves. (I was told to do this by a foot doctor) I do this during or after I have one of these cramp episodes, but If you do this leaning exercise daily or even twice or 3 times a day, then your calf muscles will get stretched out and be more flexible which might help your cramps. Also it's best for your calves if you don't wear high heals because wearing heals also will make your calf muscles shorten. When my mom wore high heals to work every day, she couldn't wear regular shoes on weekends without her calves hurting.

          * You can also buy a product called "Morton Lite Salt" this is 50-50% of regular salt and potassium salt... You might want to use this in place of regular salt.

          http://www.mortonsalt.com/products/foodsalts/Lite_Salt.htm

          PS: About your leg with poor circulation. It might help if you have someone (or yourself) gently massages the leg every night before sleep because massage increases circulation. Another thing that may help is if you take a towel that's been put in hot tap water then wrung out. First make sure this hot-wet towel isn't too hot for your skin, then wrap the hot towel around your calf. Next, wrap clear cling wrap or a plastic bag around it. Lastly add another dry towel and wrap this around the plastic. The last towel will help hold the heat in. If you to this nightly before bed with the leg elevated while watching TV or reading it will help with circulation as will any exercise for that area. (12/06/2009)

          By Cyinda

          RE: Stopping Leg Cramps

          There is a simple remedy for your cramps and charlies. Go to any health food store of a large grocery that has everything {I buy my supplements at fred Meyer, aka Krouger} in the health food section. It is called M and M or Malic Acid and Magnesium and works wonders to stop the cramps completely.

          Malic acid is from fruit, mostly apples. This was the best buy I ever made! I have lupus and MS and they both can cause the cramps, I would get them from my waist down to my toes, both legs and would just stuff a pillow in my face and scream, the M and M stopped them completely! {and no side effects either} (12/06/2009)

          By wolfbytez

          RE: Stopping Leg Cramps

          This happens to me, also. Sometimes it's caused from a low potassium level. Other times it's a sign that you need to drink more water. Try this exercise: With your leg straight, place your heel against a wall or doorway where the floor and wall meet. Then bend your foot at the ankle towards you to stretch the back of your legs at the calves. Also, I read that when sleeping, use a pillow between your knees and ankles- for some reason, this seems to help. (12/06/2009)

          By tismom

          RE: Stopping Leg Cramps

          Well, I've read about the dill pickle remedy, and have nothing to say against it at all. Salt lack can cause leg cramps. So can potassium, and possibly magnesium or mag/calcium.

          If it were me, I'd get a glass of orange juice with calcium, put in two dashes of salt, and take 1 magnesium or calcium/mag/vit D pill. It covers the minerals associated with cramps, and gives you sodium and potassium [oranges]. Keep oranges, tomatoes, bananas, and potatoes (fresh forms) in your diet. I have personally found these things to help. I get leg cramps just now and then, usually when it's been hot and I've sweat a lot, which loses both salt and potassium. (ingredients in gatorade).

          I've also read that plain yellow mustard helps.So maybe make a sandwich to go with that oj cocktail. (12/07/2009)

          By PIKKA

          RE: Stopping Leg Cramps

          A banana a day will help provide potassium. But when you are in agony with the leg cramps you don't want to wait for nutrients to be assimilated into your system. Try rubbing your legs, feet and ankles with Vicks Vaporub and then put on some high tube socks. Do this at bedtime, and you should be fine in the morning. (12/07/2009)

          By MartyD

          RE: Stopping Leg Cramps

          Minerals like calcium and magnesium, magnesium is a natural relaxer. Also when there is injury, you need more.... Potassium, which you can get from the vitamin stores, it will make a big difference. I can't stand bananas, besides, they can be fattening from so many carbs and there isn't much in one banana. You may need as much as 1000 mg. I have many health issues and need this much often. No one can eat nothing but bananas. (12/09/2009)

          By c t

          RE: Stopping Leg Cramps

          Very simple and safe, get a prescription from your doctor for some quinine tablets. It works right away. It's a safe medicine and it works. (12/09/2009)

          By Saxberg

          RE: Stopping Leg Cramps

          You might want to try taking epsom salt baths. The body absorbs some magnesium through the skin. Follow the package directions.

          It's said to be quite relaxing, so I'd suggest taking them before going to bed at night.
          (12/09/2009)

          By Contester

          RE: Stopping Leg Cramps

          If you don't like to take Quinine tablets try tonic Water. I drink a can of tonic water before going to bed and it really helps. Sometimes when I have problems with my legs in the daytime I drink tonic water(it has quinine in it). It may take 1/2 hour to work but it is good. At first you may have to mix it with orange juice or other better tasting fuids because the quinine in the tonic water is very bitter. (12/09/2009)

          By ritaannette

          RE: Stopping Leg Cramps

          Please, before you try these remedies, get a checkup from your doctor, especially a blood test. Certain diseases don't display much in the body, but they do produce leg cramps, and if you have kidney issues, most pickles are to be strictly avoided, as is salt.

          My leg cramps have stopped since I lowered my blood pressure to normal. check yours and make sure it's normal. If it isn't, get yourself down to under 1500mgs of salt a day (even if you're healthy, you're body will appreciate it and you will, too) get it down and see if that works. (12/09/2009)

          By nekocat

          RE: Stopping Leg Cramps

          Talk to your doctor! It could be so many different things causing it!

          I've had trouble with foot cramps since I was a child and they went away when I got lots of exercise and ate well balanced food but now I have emphysema so circulation is a mess so they've come back even worse than when a child.

          One thing I do that helps a great deal every time when awakened from them is adjust the way I am laying and relax. Most of the time it's just a matter of adjusting my hips an inch. If the cramps are really bad I press that foot or leg against the wall, bed post or even wrap my foot tightly against the blanket and keep the foot straight instead of in a relaxed position and then breathe deep, relax and it goes away within a minute or two. (12/09/2009)

          By Deeli

          RE: Stopping Leg Cramps

          Be sure to call your doctor as this can be a symptom of a mineral deficiency. (12/10/2009)

          By Carol in PA

          RE: Stopping Leg Cramps

          Tonic water. (12/10/2009)

          By Beth

          RE: Stopping Leg Cramps

          Sometimes that is usually a sign that your potassium or magnesium is low in your blood system, go see a doctor and have your electrolytes checked. (12/10/2009)

          By sickandsexy

          RE: Stopping Leg Cramps

          Check out earthclinic.com for home remedies from folks all around the world. I've used it quite a lot.

          I know calcium helps with muscle spasms in my back, also.

          Good luck! (12/10/2009)

          By Gina J.

          RE: Stopping Leg Cramps

          Wow I just wanted to say thank you everyone for all of the helpful responses. I do eat bananas, and I have been taking an occasional potassium tablet. I'm going to increase my fluids because I know I don't drink enough.
          Sandy/Pittsburgh (12/10/2009)

          By Sandy/Pittsburgh

          RE: Stopping Leg Cramps

          I have had severe cramping all over my body since 1991. FMS/CFS, etc. My doctor recommended taking Magnesium supplements (with Malic Acid is best) and Vitamin D at the same time. I read in my research that Magnesium and Valerian Root together make a wonderful muscle relaxer. I use all three together and get wonderful relief.

          Wonder Laboratories sells the combo in one pill at $1.00 per pill. They do offer free samples if you want to try the combo before buying. Inexpensive if you shop at Walmart like I do. Works on muscle aches and pains after overworking. Also, the pain associated with low pressure fronts moving into your area. Eases tension headaches. Valerian Root will mix with most other medications.

          Check with your pharmacist to be sure. My son's pain clinic has him taking the same thing. Doctors now use Magnesium on women in labor. Hope this helps others like it has me. Merry Christmas! (12/15/2009)

          By CAMERINQUINN

          RE: Stopping Leg Cramps

          Thank you for the info. I was at Walmart just an hour ago. With the holidays, I'm sure I'm going back real soon. I was taking potassium thinking that would help. I was still cramping up. I already take Calcium with D. I had forgotten about the salt remedy. I really appreciate all of the help I received. I haven't slept the night through in weeks because of these cramps. (12/16/2009)

          By Sandy/Pittsburgh

          RE: Stopping Leg Cramps

          I forgot, Merry Christmas everyone! (12/16/2009)

          By Sandy/Pittsburgh

          Archive: Stopping Leg Cramps

          For aches, cramps and pains in the legs, take off the wrapper from a bar of soap (any brand) and place it near the bottom of your bed between the top and bottom sheets. It will relieve the problem so you can sleep. I keep a bar in my bed at all times and it works great for me.

          There were a couple nights when laying down to sleep I couldn't take a breath in without unbelievable pain in my rib area for whatever reason. I took the bar of soap and placed it near my ribs and it worked for that also. The pain was gone within 2 minutes. It will not hurt to try it, unless, of course, you are allergic to soap or have a medical reason not to.

          Source: The "Dr's" TV show

          By Suzi Q from Agawam, MA

          Feedback:

          RE: Stopping Leg Cramps

          This has worked for me, also I think drinking more water will also help. (05/10/2010)

          By deebomb

          RE: Stopping Leg Cramps

          I saw this in Dr. Gotts column in the newspaper 3-4 years ago and it sure has worked for me, DH, and daughter. I cut one bar in 3rds or even 1/4ths and use the smaller pieces near my shoulder and both legs, under the bottom sheet. You can also use those hotel soaps. (I change mine about every 3 months.) If you are bothered by any pain, try it. I know some people say if doesn't work, but it does for us and many of our friends. (05/11/2010)

          By Great Granny Vi

          RE: Stopping Leg Cramps

          Tonic water works! I keep a bottle next to my bed. (05/13/2010)

          By ILuvDobes

          Archive: Stopping Leg Cramps

          How can I stop night leg cramps?

          By Sam from Spring Hill, FL

          Feedback:

          RE: Stopping Leg Cramps

          I picked up Hyland's Leg Cramp pills at Walmart and they really work. I think it's the quinine in them. It is homeopathic. If you don't want to take pills you can drink tonic water which also has quinine. (06/20/2010)

          By AvaElizabeth

          RE: Stopping Leg Cramps

          Before taking any over the counter stuff, if you are taking prescription meds, consult with your doctor. My internist has me on two fluid pills a day, and told me to take potassium, and magnesium supplements. They help quite a bit, but there are still times that I wake up with leg cramps. I have learned to live with it, and if I am able to get out of bed quick enough, I can walk the cramps off. (06/20/2010)

          By redhatterb

          RE: Stopping Leg Cramps

          Keep yourself hydrated with water more than other fluids with caffeine and sugar. My leg cramps always return when my body fluids are low. With the summer heat, it's important to drink more water than usual. (06/20/2010)

          By Lorelei

          RE: Stopping Leg Cramps

          Eat a banana everyday. Bananas are full of potassium which helps to stop cramping. (06/21/2010)

          By Patty Lynn

          RE: Stopping Leg Cramps

          I guess I went through about everything the doctors could think of plus everything all my friends and acquaintances had ever heard about and nothing ever worked until my good doctor asked me if I'd ever tried tonic water with quinine? I hadn't and he suggested I might try it.

          That night I drank about 8 ounces of just plain tonic water with quinine, and I had no leg or foot cramps at all. The next night I drank just 4 ounces of the tonic water, and again, no cramps. That was about 6 or 7 years ago, and I've not suffered any cramps since I took that first 8 ounces. Now, I only take 4 ounces when I just feel a tiny twinge of a cramp and it never materializes.

          I know now that it's the quinine that does the trick, but the tonic water just makes it so much easier to take and it's readily available at almost every grocery store, every 7-Eleven or fast food market around the country. It's certainly cheap enough and it took a really good doctor to let me in on the secret rather than writing another prescription for more medicine that wasn't going to work either.

          It may not be for everybody, but it was most definitely for me and for at least another 50 or more people that I've shared the information with since. Just to think about how long I suffered with the excruciating pain of nightly Charley horses or leg and feet cramps almost makes me angry with the entire medical profession. It was just too simple, but it took one good old-fashioned doctor to set me straight. God bless him!

          (06/22/2010)

          By PookaRina

          RE: Stopping Leg Cramps

          Besides remaining 'healthy hydrated' I found, for me anyway, that when the cramps start I rearrange my hips on the sleeping surface even just an inch or two makes a difference. I also found that any jammie bottoms that are too tight, waist band not right above the hip bones or that bunch up in the thigh area at all make a huge difference. Worse comes to worse I simply get out of bed and pace the floor slowly and quietly cursing for a minute or two and then crawl back in bed after they subside and fall right back to sleep. ;-)

          Potassium does make a difference, but do not take a 'supplement' without a doctor's supervision because too much potassium is not a good thing if you have any sort of heart or lung issues. (06/22/2010)

          By Deeli

          RE: Stopping Leg Cramps

          I know this sounds a bit nuts, but It works for many of us. Unwrap a bar of soap, cut it into 4-6 pieces and place just 2 of them under the bottom sheet near your legs. One on each side of the bed. Wrap up the other pieces and in 3-4 months use to change the ones in your bed. It doesn't matter the cost or brand of soap. I usually buy the 3 packages of Ivory. Try it for a month. I think you will be surprised.

          GG Vi (06/23/2010)

          By Great Granny Vi

          RE: Stopping Leg Cramps

          Get to a Dr. and get checked for diabetes! Diabetes causes dehydration too. I found out I was diabetic and once my sugars were under control, my leg cramps disappeared. Please get checked out! (06/23/2010)

          By suem1009

          RE: Stopping Leg Cramps

          I had charlie horses almost every night from my thighs to my toes! I brought it up at my lupus support group and almost everyone responded at once with the same remedy, malic acid (from apples) and magnesium.
          I found the supplements at a local store (some have them already mixed together and some brands are separate). I started taking them and by the 2nd night was over the problem!
          If I start to get a cramp any where I immediately take them again for a week or so and they go away for months or years.

          Good luck!

          (06/25/2010)

          By wolfbytez

          Woman with a leg cramp.
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