It is often overlooked that women's feet increase in size by approximately one or two sizes during pregnancy. The reason for this increase is hormones that are released within the body with the aim of enabling the ligaments in the birth canal to relax. Also, ligaments in the feet relax which in turn causes the feet to lengthen and widen. As a result of increased weight gain during pregnancy many women suffer with foot problems - the most common of these being Over -Pronation and Edema. These can lead to pain being experienced at the following area - heel, arch and ball of the foot. A common misunderstanding is that all flatfeet should be treated with arch supports or custom orthotics. This is incorrect. The most import consideration is age of the patient. Many parents consult pediatrician or podiatric surgeon requesting orthotics for their child's flatfeet. Flatfeet in children appear until the age of 4 or 6! The arch is not fully developed, and often masked by "baby fat.'' It is not uncommon for parents to begin noticing and become concerned about the flattened appearance of the feet during this time. Parents present their complaint, and often their children are prescribed orthotics without a flatfoot deformity at all. Doctors end up 'treating the parents'. Rheumatoid arthritis can feel like the worst kind of betrayal. And the disease is often painful and sometimes crippling. The good news is that, unlike your immune system, your podiatrist is always on your side, and can provide treatments for you that will help reduce your pain, and allow you to keep on getting miffed at yourself for other reasons for a long, long time. They will provide support that will help prevent your feet from swelling even more. However, it is a good idea to go to the store and purchase shoes that fit your swollen feet properly so that they will be comfortable to wear. The choice of shoes can make a significant difference in the comfort of someone with flat feet. In general, a supportive shoe needs to provide just that- support. The following characteristics make a shoe more supportive for those with flat feet. Keep in mind that to best support a flat foot, the shoe itself should rest flat on the ground. Heels are inappropriate for both flat feet and high arches. Orthotic devices or bracing. To give your arch the support it needs, your foot and ankle surgeon may recommend an ankle brace or a custom orthotic device that fits into your shoe to support the arch Our feet take on the entire weight of our body as they carry us throughout the day. Socks and hosiery can reduce the circulation in the feet, while shoes can often bind our feet, cramping the muscles in the feet and toes. Taking care of your feet is important to your overall looks and well being, since many of the nerve tracks for your body start at the feet. read more Brother offers various types of sewing machine feet. You just need to choose the most appropriate sewing machine foot for your specific project. read more Treatment with prescription shoe inserts (orthotics) is generally successful in treating many of those with this condition, as long as the foot is still flexible. Orthotics realign the foot to allow it to function properly. Only prescription orthotics will provide exacting control, as over-the-counter inserts will merely provide inaccurate, non-functional padding. Orthotic use helps to reduce much of the pain that can be associated with flat feet, and will help prevent further progression of associated problems like bunions and hammertoes. Unfortunately, severe cases of flexible flat feet and many cases of painful rigid flat feet require surgery to reform the foot into a more functional shape. Depending on the breadth of your feet, you can buy the same size shoe in wider or narrower widths. Women's' widths run from AA (narrow) to EE (extra wide). Parallel sizes for men are BB (narrow) to EEEE (extra wide). If you have flat feet then proper arch support is necessary to avoid foot pain. The better shoemakers will include some form of arch support. If additional support is desired then these may also be purchased in the form of partial or full sole inserts for added comfort. For support, there is a medial post that gets firmer toward the inside of the sole unit, slowing the roll outward. Supporting naturally flat feet while doing sports is important, as the arches normally provide a literal springboard. People who are flat-footed may develop postural habits that can predispose them to injuries. For example, if your ankles turn in, or pronate, you can appear to be "knock-kneed" and sometimes experience sensitivity in the inner knees for this reason. In this case, look for a cross-training shoe that provide "stabilizers" on either side of the forefoot that discourage pronation. "Test drive" your shoes by walking around in them and see if you can easily stabilize your feet - that they do not allow your ankles to turn inwards.