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Description of plantar pressure distribution in athletes
  1. F Esparza1,
  2. J Abellàn1,2,
  3. P Ibañez1,
  4. J M Sànchez Ayuso1
  1. 1Universidad Católica San Antonio, Murcia, Spain
  2. 2Department of Orthopedics, Hospital Morales Meseguer, Murcia, Spain


Background Lower extremities injuries caused by non-body contact are highly prevalent in sports. Repetitive high loads on the foot could cause these injuries. Plantar pressure refers to the pressure measured on the plantar surface of the foot.

Objective To measure the plantar pressure in soccer and basketball players.

Design Descriptive study.

Setting Soccer and basketball players enrolled in elite division leagues.

Participants Players were selected from the teams of the Federation of Soccer and Basketball of Murcia.

Interventions Plantar pressure was assessed with Biofoot/IBV system. This system provides a digital footprint with the pressure distribution according to a colour code.

Main outcome Footprint was divided into nine areas: 1. Lateral heel, 2. Medial heel, 3. Lateral arch, 4. Medial arch, 5. Medial forefoot, 6. Central forefoot, 7. Lateral forefoot, 8. Hallux, and 9. Lateral toes. Each placer was assessed to detect the peak pressure area.

Results 72 male athletes were assessed, 40 soccer players (mean (SD) age 23.95 (3.62)) and 32 basketball players (mean (SD) age 25.97 (5.52)). 16 of the 40 soccer players (40%) presented the highest pressure in area 6 (central forefoot), in 10 of them (25%) peak pressure was detected in area 8 (hallux), and 8 players (20%) presented the highest pressure in area 5 (medial forefoot). Similarly, in 16 of the 32 basketball players (50%) the peak pressure was detected in area 6, and 8 players (25%) presented the highest pressure in area 8. The value of Peak pressure was equal in both groups.

Conclusion Both soccer and basketball players show similar plantar pressure distribution. Soccer players present more frequently the peak pressure in the medial forefoot. Further studies should compare the plantar pressure of different sport-related movements.

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