In this article, I share what may sound like an odd remedy for leg cramps: a copper bracelet. It works for me.
The pain you get with leg cramps is terrible
The pain you get with leg cramps is almost unbearable. It has made many grown men and women cry—myself included. Today, however, I know how to stop these cramps on the spot. In fact I rarely get cramps in my legs, toes, or anywhere else anymore. Nevertheless, I can still remember some of the episodes I had before. It would be funny it was not so painful. I mean, leg cramps don’t play. I remember waking up from sleep with a leg cramp once. It was so bad I actually started praying for God to stop the pain. It was awful.
Causes of leg cramps
- One obvious cause is over-worked or stressed muscles. It could be from working out too much, moving or twisting your leg or calf in an odd position.
- Another reason for leg cramps could be that you’re not drinking enough water. The body needs water for many functions like digesting food, etc. When there’s not enough water there, the body starts pulling water from muscles or wherever else it can to perform it’s functions.
- A third cause of leg cramps is a deficiency of vital vitamins and minerals. Potassium, calcium, and magnesium are some of the ones often cited. There could be other reasons for leg cramps. However these few are the ones mentioned most often.
What are some home remedies for a leg cramp?
Yes, it’s good to know what causes leg cramps to try to prevent them. But when you actually have a leg cramp, what can you do to stop it right then and there. You don’t want to hear about what you should have done to prevent it. You want the pain to stop immediately. I’ve seen all kinds of strange home remedies to stop this type of pain.
- Pickle juice. One strange remedy is pickle juice. I don’t know, because I’ve never tried it. However, it's not too far fetched. It makes sense when you think about it. Cucumbers are used in making pickles. Cucumbers contain potassium and magnesium. Remember, one of the causes of leg cramps is being deficient in potassium and magnesium. Surely some of the cucumber seeds and nutrients from the cucumbers remain in the pickle juice. So drinking the pickle juice is supplying the body with what it's lacking.
- A bar of soap. Another remedy is is to sleep with an unwrapped bar of soap under your covers and at the foot of your bed. I really don’t have a clue how or why this would work, but some people swear by it.
- Pinching yourself. A third remedy I came across is to pinch the skin between the nose and the upper lip. I’ve never tried this one, either.
What prompted me to write this article is that someone asked a question about how to stop leg cramps. I saw all these home remedies discussed, but mine wasn’t mentioned. I looked around online, and I have yet to see mine listed. I don’t know if anybody else is using it or not. It may not work for anyone else, but it works for me instantly, every time.
Copper: what it does
Copper is an essential trace mineral.
- It helps to form red blood cells in the blood.
- It makes the way for the absorption and use of iron so red blood cells can transport oxygen to tissues (including muscles).
- Copper strengthens tendons and nerves and helps in treating arthritis.
So what is this never mentioned home remedy for leg cramps?
So what is my leg cramps remedy that stops them instantly? It’s copper. Yes, copper. The mineral that pennies are made with. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a leg cramp, but I discovered that at the moment I feel a leg cramp beginning or coming on, putting pennies on my calf would stop the cramping on the spot. I know it seems strange, but it works.
I don’t exactly remember how I knew to use pennies to stop my leg cramps. I probably got the idea from my grandmother. As a kid, I can remember that she always wore an ankle chain with a penny on it around her leg like a charm anklet. I don't remember ever asking her why she wore it. Anyway, using pennies stops my cramps.
I don’t use pennies anymore. I wear a solid copper bracelet. Some time ago, I saw a copper bracelet in a store and bought it. I discovered I didn’t have to put pennies directly on the cramp anymore. I could just put my bracelet on so that it’s touching the skin under my wrist. It works just as fast. Perhaps it's because of the major veins in the wrist, and that the copper is absorbed through the thin skin and travels quickly to the entire body via the bloodstream. I don’t know exactly how it works and I don't have to know. I just know it does stop the pain in my leg. There are some people who say there's not medical proof this works, yada, yada, yada. Well, repeated experience trumps talk. This works for me, period.
The next time you get a leg cramp, try it for yourself
Whenever I feel my leg muscles tensing up and a cramp coming on, I put on my copper bracelet and immediately the muscles relax and the cramp goes away. It works every time. You should try it.
My remedy is better than washing down pickle juice, especially if you don’t like pickles. Also, you may not want to kick around a bar of soap in bed while you’re trying to sleep.
If you want to see if copper works for you, put some pennies on your leg cramp. A piece of tape could hold them in place. If that works for you, you may want to get a copper bracelet. They are not expensive, and there are lots of different styles to choose from.
Does Copper Relieve Pain? A Testimony
Magnetic bracelet may also work
I use a solid copper bracelet to stop my leg cramps, but the magnetic ones that have copper in them may also work. Many golfers wear magnetic bracelets. I’ve seen people promote that they help with arthritis pain. Some of them have copper in them so, they may work to stop leg cramps, too. I guess it wouldn't hurt to try one.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
Your comments about leg cramps
Silva Hayes from Spicewood, Texas on October 14, 2011:
Okay, this is weird but I will admit it -- I tried the bar of soap, after a friend mentioned it to me. I was complaining to her about how a terrible leg cramp woke me up at 3:00 a.m. and nothing would make it stop. I got up (you have to get up) and walked around and drank a big glass of water and the instant I lay back down, it cramped up again. She said her mother swears by the bar of soap method. So I found one of those little flat bars of soap that you get in a motel and placed it (still wrapped in paper) under the mattress pad down near the foot of the bed. For weeks and weeks I did not suffer another leg cramp. I would forget all about it and when I changed the sheets I would discover it and say "Oh, yeah, I forgot about the soap bar!" Then one night I had a leg cramp and walked around trying to get rid of it at 3:00 a.m. Next morning I checked and guess what? The little bar of soap had worked its way out and fell on the floor under the bed. So ..... in my mind it works; don't know why but it has worked for me and I don't think it's the power of suggestion either because I totally forgot about that soap bar in between sheet changes! I have heard the stories about bananas and copper also. My 11-year-old granddaughter occasionally complains of leg pain and when she does, I say, go eat a banana and she says it makes the leg pain go away.
NoRR4Me (author) on July 26, 2010:
Thank you FGual. Copper stops my leg cramps instantly. It may seem strange, but it's no more strange than drinking pickle juice or sleeping in bed with a bar of soap. :-)
Different things work for different people. Thanks again.
FGual from USA on July 26, 2010:
Leg cramps when waking up is painful and annoying. Lack of potassium and magnesium must be a connection. When I eat a banana for breakfast and take a multivitamin they don't happen. The copper penny connection seems odd, but there must be something to it if it works for you. Great hub.