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<span>I've had foot and ankle issues my entire life, which have lately gotten progressively worse over time and increasingly worse when I'm at work. I work security overnight which involves doing rounds of the building every hour, which I can only do while wearing braces or the most restrictive shoes I own.<br><br>
After finding out that my brother has flat feet that led to plantar fasciitis, I ended up going to my doctor who referred me to the physical therapy department at my university. He was 70 miles into a 2,000 mile hike before being in too much pain to continue. I'm the only one in my family with such severe problems, but he's also experiencing some of the same problems.</span> <span><br><br>
After going in on Monday, I was told that I have flat feet, overpronation, and that my right leg is longer than the left. It looks to be that some of my issues are inherited, as I'm not the only one in my family with these problems. My tendons and muscles act normally and don't seem to be the problem.</span> <span><br><br>
I'm working on doing various exercises and stretches twice a day to help strengthen my feet. Right now, I'm still in a lot of pain, so I'm trying to find a good solution to my bad feet. A lot of my problem is that with my overpronation, I put the most pressure on my big toe and second smallest toe and have callouses on those toes only. Correcting how I walk is something I'm practicing, but it's a challenge unless I actively focus on it.<br><br>
They put a foam lift in my left shoe to help correct the height difference, which seems to help me. The problem is that they're not my everyday shoes, just my workout shoes. I typically wear TOMS, flip flops, or flats. I've been told that my choice in footwear is not helping my foot problems, and that I need to choose more supportive options.<br><br>
VBers with flat feet: what has worked well for you? I'm looking at Chacos to become my three season footwear (I live in Kansas, and I hate wearing closed shoes) but I'm not sure if they will accommodate a lift for my left foot. The other thing is that ironically, wearing Chacos is likely what led to my brother developing plantar fasciitis on the trail, so I'm not 100% trusting of them. I've already demolished three pairs of cheap flip flops in the past two months, so I realize I need something that won't die after three weeks of wear. I'm prepared to pay around $100 for a pair of shoes if they'll help my poor feet recover.</span> <span><br><br>
Edit- also, any exercises, training regimens and general tips to get my feet back to normal are super appreciated. I have weekly appointments for physical therapy, as well as access to a nice gym so having access to equipment/professionals isn't an issue for me.<br></span>
 

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Hi there,<br><br>
The best things you can do for this type of issue you are already doing: physical therapy and wearing more supportive shoes.<br>
Yoga can also help because it helps keep you aligned and work on areas that get tight from misalignment.<br><br>
Here are some brands I usually recommend to my clients that need to wear support shoes:<br><br><a href="http://www.sasshoes.com/index.php" target="_blank">http://www.sasshoes.com/index.php</a><br><br><a href="http://www.merrell.com/US/en" target="_blank">http://www.merrell.com/US/en</a><br><br><a href="http://www.bornshoes.com/" target="_blank">http://www.bornshoes.com/</a>
 

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I suggest going to a certified Rolfer or Structural Integration therapist. Go barefoot as often as you can. You don't need more support, you actually need less. Your feet are flat because the muscles in them have never been built up the way they should, and the only way to rectify that is by using those muscles, and making sure that you are in proper alignment -- that is what Rolfing does. It may also help to even out your leg length if it isn't congenital.<br><br>
Yoga is a good suggestion, if you can find an instructor who is well trained in yoga therapy, because it will help lengthen your shortened muscles.<br><br>
As far as exercises, the best suggestion is to sit with your back flattened against a wall with your legs coming straight out in front of you from the hip, 2nd toe pointing straight up to the ceiling. Focusing on one foot at a time, flex your toes up (you may need a spotter for this to make sure that your toes all move properly and you are flexing evenly), then flex your foot up. Follow by pointing your foot down, and then your toes down, while your spotter helps, again looking for evenness. Repeat -- Toe up, Foot up, Toes down, Foot down, etc. several times daily. Once this in no longer a challenge (I know it doesn't sound like it's going to be challenging, but remember, you're trying to keep yourself in alignment while you're doing this. It can be a struggle at first) you can add in a knee bend after the foot up, making sure it's a straight lift and not bending to one side or the other.
 

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If you think you're prone to plantar fasciitis, I'd be really careful with barefoot time. I know it's recommended sometimes for people with flat feet, but for pf it can be brutal. ((shudder))<br><br>
What sort of pain is it? In the heels, toes, balls of the foot, all over. Dull aches or stabbing pains? Better in morning/night?<br><br>
Are your toes straight? (mine are sorta "squished")<br><br>
I have quite high arches, but still had pf for a looooong time when I was running. If you have sort muscles/ligament sort of pain, you might try arnica gel for massaging them. It feels slightly cool and helped me a lot. I think it's important to remember too that (sadly) most foot issues can take a good while to resolve. You get better, just slowly. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 
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