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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

                  Blogger, Writer

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                  Last Updated on July 10, 2020

                  How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

                  How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

                  We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

                  We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

                  So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

                  Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

                  What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

                  Boundaries are limits

                  —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

                  Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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                  Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

                  Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

                  Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

                  How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

                  Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

                  1. Self-Awareness Comes First

                  Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

                  You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

                  To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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                  You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

                  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
                  • When do you feel disrespected?
                  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
                  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
                  • When do you want to be alone?
                  • How much space do you need?

                  You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

                  2. Clear Communication Is Essential

                  Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

                  Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

                  3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

                  Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

                  That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

                  Sample language:

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                  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
                  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
                  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
                  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
                  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
                  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
                  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

                  Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

                  4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

                  Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

                  Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

                  Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

                  We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

                  It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

                  It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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                  Final Thoughts

                  Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

                  Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

                  Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

                  The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

                  Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

                  Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

                  They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

                  Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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