Once or twice a year, I will wake to a charlie-horse. In my leg. I always instinctively pound the offending muscle group with my fist. I’d like to know if this is a universal instinct, and if so, why? Honestly, it doesn’t ever seem to accomplish much besides causing me to hurt in a different manner.
Leg cramps are a major bummer and, as far as I know, just about everyone goes straight to some kind of a massage to try and get relief. Whether that’s instinctive (because people have evolved with leg cramps) or culturally conditioned (because massage and musculoskeletal discomfort go hand-in-hand in popular consciousness) is anybody’s guess. Folksy home remedies for leg cramps abound, but my favorite is, without a doubt, putting a bar of soap underneath the sheets when you go to sleep at night. Apparently, it works for a lot of people!