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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 20, 2019

                  How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

                  How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

                  Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life.

                  Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affect your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality. (And here’s Why Your Perception Is Your Reality.)

                  I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive and just a general waste of energy.

                  You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

                  Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Become the master of your mind.

                  When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

                  I currently have few thoughts that are not of my own choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

                  Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

                  Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in charge of your thoughts. If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

                  Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create the most unhealthy and unproductive thoughts:

                  1. The Inner Critic

                  This is your constant abuser who is often a conglomeration of:

                  • Other people’s words; many times your parents.
                  • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples expectations.
                  • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media.
                  • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

                  The Inner Critic is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance and lack of self-love.

                  Why else would this person abuse you? And since this person is actually you– why else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

                  2. The Worrier

                  This person lives in the future; in the world of “what ifs.”

                  The Worrier is motivated by fear which is often irrational and with no basis for it. Occasionally, this person is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

                  3. The Reactor or Trouble-Maker

                  This is the one that triggers anger, frustration and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

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                  This person can be set off by words or feelings, and can even be set off by sounds and smells.

                  The Reactor has no real motivation and has poor impulse control and is run by past programming that no longer serves you, if it ever did.

                  4. The Sleep Depriver

                  This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

                  The Sleep Depriver’s motivation can be:

                  • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
                  • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
                  • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity and generalized anxiety
                  • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

                  How can you control these squatters?

                  How to Master Your Mind

                  You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You must pay attention to your thoughts so you can identify “who” is running the show; this will determine which technique you will want to use.

                  Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

                  There are two ways to control your thoughts:

                  • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
                  • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

                  This second option is what is known as peace of mind!

                  The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go to” thoughts in the applicable situations.

                  Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier; and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

                  For the Inner Critic

                  When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

                  You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

                  For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

                  You can also have a dialogue with yourself with the intention of discrediting the ‘voice’ that created the thought, if you know whose voice it is:

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                  “Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

                  If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready. This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

                  • They rile up the Worrier.
                  • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
                  • They are often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
                  • They are a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
                  • They are the destroyer of self-esteem. They convince you that you’re not worthy. They’re a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get them out!

                  Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

                  Replace them with your new best friends who support, encourage, and enhance your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

                  For the Worrier

                  Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

                  Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind and creates anxiety in the body.

                  You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

                  • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
                  • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                  • Muscles tense

                  Use the above stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

                  If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

                  Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

                  “Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

                  Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense; both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

                  If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

                  Now take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like!

                  Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

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                  For example:

                  If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

                  “I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place. Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

                  Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

                  “Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

                  Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

                  For the Trouble-Maker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

                  Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers; but until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

                  The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain:

                  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure; surge of adrenaline
                  • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                  • Muscles tension

                  I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

                  Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds; just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

                  Breathe in through your nose:

                  • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
                  • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
                  • Focus on your belly rising.

                  Breathe out through your nose:

                  • Feel your lungs emptying.
                  • Focus on your belly falling.
                  • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

                  Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize.

                  Now you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior.

                  One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting, or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

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                  Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

                  For the Sleep Depriver

                  (They’re made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

                  I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

                  Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

                  1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
                  2. Then I came up with replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

                  When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and I choose quiet.

                  From the first time I tried this method I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

                  For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (Closed, of course!). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

                  If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

                  You can also use this technique any time you want to:

                  • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon.
                  • Shut down your thinking.
                  • Calm your feelings.
                  • Simply focus on the present moment. 

                  The Bottom Line

                  Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or for destructive purposes.

                  You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

                  Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. The choice is yours!

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                  Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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