Flat feet sound like it can be ignored and most people do but it’s no joke. The U.S. military would reject potential recruits if they had flat feet, back in the day. Around 20% of Americans have flat feet and the pains that follow are pretty common. Think of your foot as a tripod and to evenly distribute weight on the foot there should be three points of contact that the bottom of the foot makes with the ground. A balance between these points gives the foot stability. The arches of the foot also function optimally when the tripod position is maintained.
Why the Pain?
People with flat feet have trouble maintaining the tripod position. What’s often seen is that one leg of the tripod isn’t very stable and this results in a shift of pressure to the inside edge of the foot, with more weight placed on both the side of the bog tor and the inside of the heel. This is what causes the pain that comes with flat feet.
How to Check If You Have Flat Feet?
It’s really simple. Check the imprints that your feet leave in the sand, or dip them in water and then step on dry pavement. If your footprint doesn’t have a clearly visible thin part where your arch rises off the ground, also called waist then you’re flat-footed. The chances of having flat feet depend mostly on your genetics, so there’s isn’t necessarily much you can do about it but what you can do is, take a lot of smart steps (pun intended) to fend off and avoid the pain.
3 Tips to Fend Off Flat Feet Pain
1. Get the Right Support
Foot fashion will have to take the back seat if you don’t want your soles to pay the price. What you need is decent arch support to buffer the impact of every step that you take and keep your body aligned properly. You can ask your local shoe store for suggestions on which type of shoes will give you the best support. Be sure to ask them to measure your feet first as a lot of people wear shoes that are too small or narrow for them. Then consider buying a supportive insole too.
2. Invest in a Foot Spa Massager
Applying a little pressure can relax tight tendons. It can also encourage blood flow to the bottoms of your feet. One of the best foot spa massagers on the market right now is the Alleviate pedicure spa machine by Cytari. It has accu-nodes present at the bottom of the tub triggers your feet’ acupoints and helps you reduce foot pain. The heated foot bath massager also has 4 removable “shiatsu” massage rollers, that boosts blood circulation in your feet and reduces stiffness. You can buy it here.
If you have flat feet then you’re more likely to over-pronate, which means that your foot rolls inward with each step. This can lead to muscular tightness in your feet and your calves as your body makes your muscles work harder to stabilize your foot.
So, the best thing you can do is stretch your calf muscles against the wall, to do this, stand about 2 feet away from your wall and step your right foot forward, so that the ball of the foot is on the wall and the heel is on the ground. Keeping your right leg straight, press your palms into the wall as you lean forward to stretch the calf and foot. Hold for 15 to 20 seconds; repeat on the left side.
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