Heel pain from plantar fasciitis is a common problem for which two million Americans seek treatment each year. Most commonly caused by worn shoes; inadequate stretching; or running, walking, or even standing on hard surfaces, plantar fasciitis pain comes on fast, usually within a day. Many people find themselves surprised to have to hobble around to avoid the pain. Medical treatment is seldom needed and in many cases plantar fasciitis heals itself within days or weeks. In some instances, however, it can last longer and even become a chronic condition, especially if the precipitating cause isn’t remedied. When people don’t get relief from plantar fasciitis-related heel pain often the movement accommodation to lessen the pain causes more pain in the knees, hips, back, and neck.
People suffering from plantar fasciitis often use shoe inserts to lessen the pain and hopefully to avoid the return of heel pain. Shoe inserts traditionally have come from one of two sources. You can buy inexpensive heel and full foot inserts off the shelf in grocery stores and hope you choose the right type to bring relief and help you ward off future foot problems. The other route is to go to a podiatrist and have custom inserts created from molds of your feet; prescription orthotics can easily cost hundreds of dollars. Recently SOLS, a company with a background of creating prescription orthotics, has started selling an orthotic solution that uses 3D printing based on smartphone photos of the feet of people with plantar fasciitis or other foot pain.
ExoSOLS cost $99 per pair and consist of three layers of material. The top layer, or cover, also called the ‘skin’ is available in three options: cool, comfy, or rugged. Each choice is moisture-wicking and bacteria resistant. The 3D printed shell lifts your arches and cradles your heels. The third element is a heel cup that aligns the foot for better mechanical action when walking or running. According to SOLS, a third party study found the companies digitally produced orthotics measured as accurately as medical prescription products.
The process to order ExoSOLS is to purchase a set online, upon which you receive a code to enter in an iOS smartphone app. First, you fill out a lifestyle questionnaire and then take four photos of each foot, following the directions in the application. You send the questionnaire and the photos to SOLS via the app and in approximately 6 business days receive your custom 3D printed orthotics in the mail. They come with a 30-day money-back guarantee and, if they do the trick, can save you hundreds of dollars over prescription orthotics. If for some reason you want medical orthotics, SOLS prescription division can create those as well, at usual medical pricing.
If ExoSOLS work for you, you’ll soon be pain-free, walking and running with better support to hopefully prevent getting plantar fasciitis again, and you’ll have saved hundreds of dollars compared to buying prescription orthotics. SOLS keeps your foot measurements on file so ordering additional or replacement sets will be fast and easy.