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The Flatfooted Facts, Part 2

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Living with flat foot can either hinder your lifestyle or not change it a bit, depending on the type of flat foot you have. And because there are two types –- flexible flat foot and rigid flat foot -- every person dealing with this condition does things a little differently to make their lives a little less flat-footed.

As we talked about Monday, flexible flat foot usually does not interfere with your day to day lifestyle. However, if you find yourself a bridesmaid for bridezilla who requires you to wear 4 inch stilettoes or had an epiphany to run a marathon, you may be putting a lot of pressure on your feet that they aren’t accustomed to and will respond like rigid flat foot so you have to be careful.

Those with rigid flat foot are in a slightly different boat when it comes to your level of daily discomfort. Almost on a daily basis your feet become a pain in your -- well, feet. Unfortunately your odds of experiencing complications are high, if not unavoidable. Most people with rigid flat foot have the most pain in their ankles, knees, hips and spine, which can spiral into amongst many problems, including arthritis and your options for treatment are getting a little more complicated.

Whether you have rigid or flexible flat foot, there are some tricks of the trade to help ease any discomfort you may come across. With flexible flat foot I would simply suggest looking into insoles or cushioned pads that are sold at pharmacy or even department stores these days (what’s not, right?). If that doesn’t work, it may be time to consult a podiatrist for orthotics. For rigid flat foot, I would say orthotics are a "must have". As I have said in previous articles, I have orthotics for my shoes, and it does wonders for my feet. I do not have flat foot, but being very athletic and always on the move was leaving my feet in so much pain and discomfort. Orthotics was an immediate relief for my feet, and they are sure to thank me everyday for them. Now, I run half-marathons and wear sexy heels for a night out on the town without going to bed at night crying in pain.

Also, it might behoove you to try some daily strength training exercises to build the muscles in your feet, giving you a fighting chance at survival during a long day of running around like a mad woman (I know that is what I look like four out of five days a week). In addition to these treatment ideas, take five think about a few things that may make a world of difference in the pain and discomfort you have with a few lifestyle adjustments.

Are you over weight? Studies show that obesity is a catalyst for flat foot causing many complications. Shedding a few pounds could do wonders for your rigid flat foot discomfort. Consult your doctor about ways to lose without having to use your feet to much. Dieting and foot pain do not go hand in hand. Trust me.

Do you have the proper footwear? Although they're a pain to shop for, buying special shoes for those with no arch can alleviate some of your foot pain, opposed to your wallet pain. Just ask yourself which is worse.

Just remember, whether you have flexible or rigid flat foot you will still experience different complications, so seek advice as soon as possible from your doctor about what your best options are. Get a step ahead of flat foot before it gets a ahead of you.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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