Q. I would like to tell you about a remedy for leg cramps. One evening we were playing cards with some friends, and suddenly my husband bent over with a severe leg cramp. Our host went to the refrigerator, got the jar of pickles and poured one-quarter glass of pickle juice. He told my husband to drink it, and the leg cramps eased almost immediately. Have you ever heard of such a remedy?
A. Scientists at Brigham Young University tested this remedy on 10 college students. A mild electrical current was applied after exercise to induce a muscle cramp.
The volunteers were given water or pickle juice. Water did nothing, but pickle juice relieved the cramps (Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, May 2010).
The most unusual way to prevent leg cramps is to put a bar of soap under the bottom sheet of the bed in the area where the feet are.
When we first heard about this approach over a decade ago, we laughed. How could soap possibly prevent a muscle spasm?
We’re not laughing anymore. In fact, we have a couple of bars in our own bed to ward off cramps.
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