Higher plantar pressure on the medial side in four soccer-related movements

Objective: To measure the plantar pressure in four soccer-related movements in 15 male soccer players (mean (SD) age 20.9 (1.3) years, height 173 (4) cm, weight 61.7 (3.6) kg).

Design: To record plantar pressure distribution, the players wore soccer boots with 12 circular studs and with an insole pressure recorder device equipped with 99 sensors. Plantar pressure was recorded in five successful trials in each of the four soccer-related movements: running, sideward cutting, 45 degrees cutting and landing from a vertical jump. Each footprint was divided into 10 recorded areas for analysis.

Results: Compared with running at 3.3 m/s, maximal speed sideward cutting and 45 degrees cutting induced higher peak pressure (p<0.05) under the second toe, medial forefoot, medial arch and medial heel. The peak pressure of the maximal jump landing was lower under the medial forefoot and lateral forefoot as compared with running (p<0.05). The pressure-time integral showed that sideward cutting and 45 degrees cutting induced higher pressures (p<0.05) than running for all recorded areas, except for the lateral forefoot and the lateral arch. In all the four soccer-related movements, a higher pressure was found on the medial side of the plantar surface as compared with the lateral side.

Conclusions: These data suggest that the medial side of the plantar surface may be more prone to injuries, and that foot orthosis adoption, improved soccer boot design and specific muscle training could be considered to reduce pressure and the subsequent risk of injury.

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