The foot posture index in men practicing three sports different in their biomechanical gestures

Background: The technical gestures characteristic of certain sports may lead to one type of foot being more prevalent than the others. The Foot Posture Index (FPI) has been used as a diagnostic tool for support postures in various sports, but the differences in these postures between sports of distinct gestures in their actions are far from completely understood.

Methods: The overall FPI, obtained as the sum of the scores of its six individual criteria, was determined in 90 male athletes (30 runners, 30 basketball players, and 30 handball players) in static bipedal stance and relaxed position. Analysis of variance was used to find significant differences among the three sports in the total FPI and its six criteria.

Results: The mean ± SD FPI was 2.9 ± 2.8 in runners, 3.9 ± 4.1 in basketball players, and -0.4 ± 6.9 in handball players, with significant differences among these groups (P = .008). Significant differences were also found in the talar head position and talonavicular prominence values between handball players and runners (P = .001 and P = .004, respectively) and between handball and basketball players (P = .002 and P = .006, respectively).

Conclusions: Runners and basketball players had neutral feet, whereas handball players had supinated feet. The differences in foot posture seem to be mainly determined by two of the FPI criteria: talar head position and talonavicular prominence.

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