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Flat Feet? Relieve Pain, Be More Effective, And Enjoy Life

Flat Feet? Relieve Pain, Be More Effective, And Enjoy Life

Do you have problems with back and leg pain? Do your feet get tired easily and become swollen after hard working day or long walks? These problems can make our everyday lives more complicated, and it’s already difficult enough, isn’t it? The name of the problem is flat feet. According to research, about 30 percent of people have the same problem as you do.

To check if you have this condition, perform a quick test: get your feet wet and stand on a surface where your footmark will show (piece of paper on the floor, tiles in your bathroom). When you move away, you can see the marks of your feet. If it’s completely flat, without any curved lines on the inner side of the foot, sorry, but you have flat feet.

It’s bad news, but you’re not alone. Many people with the same problem are very active: running, playing soccer or doing heavy labor. The pain is the thing that makes you react and start thinking about the problem. Often it might be late, but still, we’re here to improve our lives, so we’re tackling the flat feet issue today.

The Flat Problem – Origins, Types & Symptoms

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    Depending on the lifestyle, average people spend from four to seven hours a day standing or walking. Our whole weight pressures the feet; they cover a minuscule area compared to our entire body. With every step, our feet endure the pressure of our full weight. Accumulating with time, our feet bear dozens of tons of pressure every day.

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    Maybe you didn’t know, but we’re all born with flat feet; the arch develops way later. Most people’s arches grow through childhood, but some people’s don’t. There are also risk factors like obesity, aging, diabetes, foot and ankle injury or rheumatoid arthritis that can cause flat feet later in life.

    Some people live with flat feet without even noticing, and without any need of correction or treatment. Others do have symptoms that usually involve weakness, pain, swelling of the inside bottom of the feet, and painful movement.

    1. Ladies

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      Let’s start with the girls. High heels are one of the main risk factors among women that cause this condition. They wedge your feet into tiny spaces and cause you to balance in a way that the human body is not supposed to. What does this mean? High heels alter your center of gravity and wearing them on a regular basis can make your arches almost useless. The obvious solution would be not to wear high heels, or wear them only during special occasions.

      2. Obese people

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        With more weight, your knees and ankles endure more pressure, your ligaments and muscles get stretched more than regular and lose the original ability to perform over time. This effect creates even more pressure to the arch of the foot, which bends and flattens under pressure, twisting the foot to the unnatural state. The pain is manifested throughout the whole leg, and the natural arch and feet become chronically sore.

        Getting through the working day

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          There are certain jobs where it is essential for women to be in high heels and it’s one of the reasons that lead to flat feet problem. In these cases, women should try to spend as little time as possible in high heels and carry spare flat shoes to wear whenever they get the opportunity to prevent fatigue, swelling and flat feet. Also, it’s important to obtain insoles for shoes that are designed for flat feet to facilitate wearing high heels.

          This problem also occurs in men, especially in workplaces where it is necessary to stand for several hours or jobs that require physical strength. If you have one of the risk factors, such as obesity, for example, the problem becomes greater. Physically demanding jobs that take place outdoors are particularly threatening to the foot, simply because they require more raw power and energy consumption. In these situations, adequate working boots with appropriate insoles will help to support the foot and ankle and reduce pain in feet, knees, and lower back.

          Recreation, exercise & relaxation

          Having flat feet doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t take part in sports, participate in any activity, or have a productive and fulfilling life. The problem can be quite unpleasant and painful, but you can relieve it in many ways.

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          1. Running

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            One of the activities where people with flat feet face problems is running; it can be frustrating, stressful, and downright painful. When the arch of the foot is stretched out of its normal position, it is called the “Fallen.” It affects the runner’s ability to absorb the shock that the foot endures during the impact with the ground.

            With the fallen arch, the shock effect goes through your feet and legs, thus resulting in a higher risk of injury to the entire leg, not just ankles and feet. With the proper pair of running shoes for flat feet, it’s possible to alleviate most of the issues that accompany flat-footedness. Runners with flat feet need motion-control or stability shoes, with insoles that support the flat side of the foot. The walls of these shoes are strengthened to keep the ankles in a stable position and have a reinforced support from the bottom.

            2. Exercises that help with flat feet

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              Barefoot walking and standing are two simple and easy things that will help. People tend to get used to shoes and socks so much that the feet skin gets so gentle and sensitive. Strengthen your feet by not wearing anything on them as much as possible. Run barefooted, and perform balancing exercises; these will enhance your tendons, ligaments, and muscles significantly. With stronger feet, your natural positioning can be balanced out and repaired to a normal state. Combined with good insoles and shoes, you might improve your flat feet.

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              3. Relaxation with foot massage

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                Feet have millions of nerve endings, which are known and can be exploited by many types of massage. The quality feet massage can relieve many different pains in the whole body. When you have flat feet, you have even more reasons to have a foot massage.

                Massage increases circulation and loosens up connective tissue. The numerous massage benefits can improve the quality of your living, with or without flat feet. If you have a partner with flat feet, he or she will highly appreciate a good foot rub and massage. Here’s how to do it:

                • Spend at least 3 or 4 minutes warming up your partner’s entire foot.
                • After you’ve revved up the blood flow in the foot and warmed the muscles and connective tissue, begin to make long and gradually deeper strokes along the length of the sole, with one hand on each side of the foot. Long strokes are an important part of foot massage.
                • Apply the milking stroke to the foot. Take the foot that’s closest to you with both your hands and perform a series of ten strong, short-pulling strokes on both sides of the foot. Your strokes should be alternately lengthening each side of the foot.
                • Reverse the action, pushing toward the heel on the arch and the outside of the foot, moving gradually into circles on the front of the ankle.
                • Wring the foot applying the “Indian rub” technique with your thumbs on the middle arch side of the foot as if you were wringing out a towel. Allow a lot of movement in the foot as you perform the strokes, as it will be useful for the range of motion in the ankle and will stimulate circulation.
                • When you’ve completed the precise strokes on the foot, apply deep effleurage to calf muscles. Sometimes tightness in the calf muscles can exert pressure deep in the foot, which contributes to plantar fasciitis and pes planus.

                Living with flat feet is not hard

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                  If you add small changes in everyday routine and the way you live, in time, you will notice a significant improvement in the quality of your life. There are many ways to make life easier for people with flat feet. Proper footwear for every occasion is essential for relieving or even eliminating symptoms. It allows you to have a more productive day at work, and participate in a lot of activities that will contribute to better health in general: nature walks, sports activities, etc. Massages relieve pain and swollen ankles and feet, and there are exercises that prevent further development of symptoms.

                  Treat your feet, protect your feet, care for your feet, exercise and relax your feet. They will be grateful, and repay you with long healthy years.

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                  Dejan Kvrgic

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                  Last Updated on August 15, 2018

                  7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

                  7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

                  Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

                  Video Summary

                  Why is it important to train up our core strength?

                  There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

                  This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

                  Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

                  In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

                  One Exercise, multiple benefits

                  There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

                  By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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                  When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

                  Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

                  In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

                  What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

                  What will happen when you start doing planks every day

                    1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

                    Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

                    • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
                    • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
                    • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
                    • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

                    2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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                      Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

                      Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

                      3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

                        Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

                        4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

                          Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

                          A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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                          A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

                          On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

                          5. You’ll improve overall balance

                            Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

                            6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

                              Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

                              7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                                Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                                How to hold a plank position

                                1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                                2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                                3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                                4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                                5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                                6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                                7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                                Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                                Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                                  How to improve your plank time gradually

                                  1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                                  2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                                  3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                                  Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                                  Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                                  You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                                  • Prolapse
                                  • After prolapse surgery
                                  • Pelvic pain conditions
                                  • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                                  • Previous childbirth
                                  • Overweight

                                  Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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