Can corks cure cramps?

04 February 2011
Presented by Chris Smith, Redi Tlhabi.

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This week, how stimulating the brain can help you to think outside the box, why corks in the bed can cure cramps, the inside information on itching, the brain basis of meditation and what happens when we do it, the science of sleep, and where did domestic animals come from? Join Dr Chris as he pits his wits against this week's round up of top science questions on 702...

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Unbelievable I know......but a cork under my pillow works for me.

For a long time have had cramp most nights but much better since I have corks in the bed !!

Hi. interesting.f I have been having severe cramps in my calves for a week or two. then I remembered a long time back when my aunty used to send me copies of a magazine called Prevention, where I read readers experiences of using corks in the bed for leg cramps. I looked this up on line and could find nothing there. then i found two large corks in the street and put them in the bed and since then for the last two nights - no leg cramps! I"ve been looking on line to see why cos I imagine there could be so many more benefits but can't find anything as yet. nice to read your experience. Kath

My husband and I each keep a red wine cork on our bedside tables. If we get the cramps in the night we grab a cork in the hand and the cramp stops. Absolutely proven for us every time.

It does work. We always take a cork to bed with us.

But how do you know that you would have got a cramp had the cork not been there?

I heard about placing cork in bed to help night cramps a few months ago. I have cramp most nights in my feet ever since having chemotherapy which causes my feet and fingers to have less feeling than they had before the treatment. The cramps were very painful and I'd have to jump our of bed then sit rubbing my feet for some time before I could sleep again. After hearing about cork I placed a cork tile (about 18"x18" under my bottom sheet at the part where my feet reach. I haven't had night cramp since then. Placebo effect?? I don't believe so. I think it really works. For doubters it's still worth a try.

Today I went for my tests. The sister was a jolly person so when she asked me if I ever had cramp I said “not now” and told her about your corks. Then she surprised me by telling me she had heard about them before. I did tell her that I thought it was an old wives tale but since it came from a reliable source I had better try it and it worked. I got some old wine corks and cut off the plastic tops and wrapped the remainder in a J-Cloth and tied it up with string and put it at the foot of the bed. Now I only get the cramp if I accidently kick it out of bed, which isn’t often.

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