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10 Reasons Not To Wear Flip-Flops (And How To Wear Them If You Have To)

10 Reasons Not To Wear Flip-Flops (And How To Wear Them If You Have To)

Flip-Flops – Harmless, Right? For most of us, the humble flip-flop is associated with relaxed vacations and lazy summers. Easy to take on, easy to slip off – what’s not to love? Unfortunately, flip-flops don’t love you back! Read on to find out why you should consider ditching the flip-flops this summer, or at least keep some alternatives to hand (or foot!).

What Flip-Flops Really Do To Your Body

1. They leave you more vulnerable to bunions.

Because you must continually flex your toes in order to keep them on your feet, flip-flops force your foot into an unnatural position that can result in bunions – large, disfiguring bumps on your toe joints. These are both painful and unsightly.

2. They make you more likely to trip up.

Flip-flops tend to have little ‘grip’ to their soles. Furthermore, the soles flap free as you walk and can become trapped on grating and escalators. This can be dangerous as well as annoying!

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3. They are made of toxic materials.

Flip-flops often contain plastics that are harmful to your skin and the environment such as BPA, which may cause cancers.

4. If you have flat feet or fallen arches, flip flops are a terrible idea.

Flip-flops offer no foot support. For those of us with fallen arches, this will only make the condition worse.

5. They reduce your walking speed.

Researchers have demonstrated that flip-flops slow you down. You are literally going to move at a slower pace than those who opt for proper footwear.

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6. They make you more likely to develop a fungal or bacterial infection.

Flip-flops leave your skin exposed to the floor. This increases your risk of contracting various kinds of infection including athlete’s foot and HPV, which causes warts.

7. They increase your risk of heel pain.

Most flip-flops do not provide adequate protection for your heels. This means that when you walk on hard or uneven surfaces, your heels are vulnerable to injury and pressure that can result in chronic pain over time.

8. They can lead to ‘hammertoe.’

The way in which your foot needs to grasp onto the flip-flop can result in ‘hammertoe,’ a condition in which a toe joint contracts and becomes permanently bent. This can cause tremendous pain. Worse, this condition can become worse over time and even result in the need for foot surgery, which can seriously inconvenience your lifestyle.

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9. They can impair your posture.

Too much time in flip-flops can lead to backache and poor posture as your feet are completely unsupported. This has a knock-on effect that can result in back, knee and hip pain. Flip-flops encourage you to take shorter strides, and this can eventually alter your natural walking style.

10. They cause blisters.

Flip-flip toeposts – those plastic parts that go between your first and second toes – can rub your feet and cause painful blisters within a few hours of you putting them on. Blisters can burst, and this can leave you vulnerable to developing infections in the open wounds.

How To Minimise The Damage

1. Choose shoes made of natural fibres.

Non-plastic footwear made of natural fibres such as hemp are more skin-friendly than those made from latex or plastic.

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2. Minimise the time you spend wearing flip-flops.

If you can’t stand to throw your flip-flops out, then at least keep the hours spent wearing them down to a couple per day. Never go for extended walks in unsupportive shoes.

3. Make sure you clean your flip-flops regularly.

Keep the soles and straps clean and use an antibacterial wash on them every few days. This will help minimise the risk of spreading infection to other people.

4. Work on your posture.

Consider taking up yoga, dance or a similar exercise that will help you offset some of the damage done by flip-flops to your posture.

Featured photo credit: Schlumpf98/Pixabay via pixabay.com

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Jay Hill

Jay writes about communication and happiness on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on July 2, 2020

Simple Hacks on How to Relieve Neck Pain Fast (and Naturally)

Simple Hacks on How to Relieve Neck Pain Fast (and Naturally)

There is very little in life as annoying or distracting as neck pain. Most people find that neck pain is temporary. What can you do if your neck pain seems chronic or if it comes and goes with no obvious source?

Whether you have simply slept on your neck wrong or you are working late, hunched over a keyboard half the night, neck pain is, well, a pain in the neck!

What most people are unaware of is that there are little known hacks that can help you find relief from neck pain fast and naturally. This means no pills or expensive exercise equipment to buy.

How can you get relief from neck pain?

There are several easy steps to follow to find the perfect hack for solving your neck pain fast and easy.

How Did I End Up With This Pain in the Neck?

Neck pain often has an I-was-looking-right-at-it source that we don’t recognize at first glance. Once you identify the source of the pain, you can take the best corrective measure, or several measures if need be!

Ask yourself these questions to find a possible source:

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  • Do you spend much of the day sitting (desk job, typing, etc.)?
  • How old are your mattress and pillow?
  • How much exercise do you work into an average day?
  • How do you manage stress?
  • Have you been injured or in an accident (no matter how small) lately?

Perhaps one last question to ask yourself might be, “Is my pain a regular occurrence, or is my neck pain something that has just cropped up?

Once you know the answers to these questions, you can start searching for answers.

Remedies for Neck Pain

Once you know the source, try tapping into one (or several) of these solutions to start healing your neck pain now.

1. Everyday Activities

One of the important factors with neck pain will be your everyday activities. Other than an injury or accident, one of the largest factors for neck pain includes working overtime in an office and the stress that work entails[1].

Due to the coronavirus, many people find themselves working from home, in kitchens, basements, using a barstool, and/or other equipment that was not designed for humans to spend hours on end, typing and looking at a computer screen.

If you find that your neck pain has occurred during the past few months due to a job change, or if you suddenly began working from home, your issue may be due to ergonomics. Invest in an adjustable office chair to help make your workspace more neck-friendly.

2. Age of Mattress and Pillow

The age of your mattress and pillow should also be considered. Pillows, on average, should be changed every 3 years, and a mattress every 7-10 years. No matter how good or comfortable you think these items are, the truth is that they are hurting your neck and back with a lack of support.

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A good mattress is well worth the investment, and pillows are always on sale, as well as wallet-friendly. If you haven’t tried them, a water-filled pillow can be comfortable for many people.

3. Exercise/Movement/Stretching

It’s that old exercise question that no one wants to hear. This time around, it has been difficult for many people to get in good exercise since they have been housebound due to the quarantine. There are plenty of ways to get in some good, old-fashioned exercise.

Stretching exercises are even more important than before since many people do not get enough movement while sitting at home. There are hundreds of at-home exercise, dance, and yoga videos that require little to no equipment, so even if you’re a beginner, give it a go.

4. Stress and Stress Management

Stress is a hidden danger that robs more people of health than even most doctors realize. While everyone has stress, not everyone recognizes it, nor do they have a means of managing it. Exercise is one of the best ways to release stress, with meditation and yoga being the best ways to manage and relieve stress. All of these will remove tightness in the muscles and relieve neck pain.

5. Accident or Injury

If you have been involved in an accident or injured yourself lately (falling down, or having something fall on you, for example) and your neck pain began after this incident, you should speak with your doctor about this as soon as possible.

6. On-Going Problem or Sudden Occurrence

Finally, if your neck pain is something that has occurred recently, it could simply be that you slept on it wrong or turned your neck too hard. That will make this a very temporary condition. You can try some easy stretches for pain relief .

An on-going problem, however, might respond better to some other alternative methods, including:

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  • Slowly moving and stretching your neck. Do not move too quickly or too far. Roll your head from side to side, shoulder to shoulder, to the front and to the back.
  • Ice packs work well for some people, while heat works best for others.
  • Be aware of how you use your cell phone or tablet. If you keep your neck bent downward for too long to look at it, you can develop an annoying pain called text-neck or tech-neck. Take breaks and look up to stretch those neck muscles.
  • Long hours driving can also be hard on the neck. Look from side to side as far as you can, as well as up and down to prevent a stiff neck.

 

Still Have Tight Neck Muscles? 3 Tips for Finding Relief

When tight neck muscles are not responding to the typical heat, ice, or massage treatments, you might want to give the following a try:

1. Gua Sha

This is an ancient Chinese practice that might seem a bit odd, but it works for many people. In this practice, a trained individual uses a spoon or other object and makes short strokes down the neck. It is believed that poor blood circulation causes it to become stagnant, if you will, and blocks the positive energy needed for life, called qi.

Fresh blood will indeed allow oxygen and nutrients to feed the tissues in a given area, and one study found that gua sha worked where traditional methods, such as heat therapy, did not[2].

2. Swimming

You probably know that swimming is a terrific low-impact exercise that works wonders for those with back and knee pain, but did you know that it also works well for neck pain and tight muscles? It helps if the water is tepid and not cold, but even just floating on your back can offer tremendous relief since most of the body weight is suspended by the buoyancy of water.

3. Chiropractic Massage

Not your typical day spa massage, chiropractic massage is performed under the guidance of a chiropractor. A trained massage therapist will still do the massage, but this time, the chiropractor will have discussed your neck pain and any problems you might be having with them. Many people have found real relief from neck pain through chiropractic massage.

The Best Treatment for Neck Pain

When you need to find relief from neck pain and nothing you have tried previously seems to give you more than a few minutes of relief, spending some time with a chiropractor often times can fix this issue, and it doesn’t often return if you follow a healthy lifestyle.

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I’m certain that many of you are thinking about those awful videos with those loud cracking noises you’ve seen on social media, or you are recalling a news story which might have suggested that allowing a chiropractor anywhere near your neck might be a health hazard[3]. Nothing could be further from the truth.

You should try the other suggestions in this article before you head off to the chiropractor, but when all else fails, don’t let neck pain nag you day in and day out. Take steps to make an appointment, and you will be surprised at the results.

What Can a Chiropractor Do for Neck Pain?

Many people mistakenly believe that the only technique a chiropractor will use is a neck adjustment. Chiropractors are trained in a variety of methods that are designed to help you find the pain relief you are seeking.

A few of the methods a chiropractor might use include:

  • Cervical Manual Traction
  • Flexion-Distraction
  • Cervical Mobilization
  • Ultrasound
  • Cervical Drop Technique
  • Trigger Point Therapy

There are many more options, but your chiropractor should explain to you which techniques s/he intends to use and why[4]

The Bottom Line

If neck pain wreaks havoc in your life regularly, the best way to stop it is to identify the source and attack it from that angle.

Getting plenty of exercises, having a proper posture, and buying an office chair that provides plenty of support, as well as a regular stretching program, will keep your neck strong and flexible for many years to come.

More Tips on Healing Neck Pain

Featured photo credit: Christopher Campbell via unsplash.com

Reference

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