Dynamic plantar pressure distributions vary between soccer and basketball players in ways that may have implications for preventing injuries related to repetitive loading, according to research from Spain presented in Monaco in April.
Investigators from Catholic University San Antonio in Murcia, Spain, analyzed dynamic plantar pressures in 72 elite male athletes, 40 soccer players and 32 soccer players. Pressure maps were subdivided into nine anatomical regions, and the regions associated with highest and lowest plantar pressure values were identified.
Peak plantar pressures for athletes from both sports occurred most frequently in the central forefoot (50% of each sport group) followed by the hallux (25% of each group). However, 20% of soccer players had peak pressures in the medial forefoot, compared to just one basketball player.
The lateral arch was most often the site of the lowest pressure areas for athletes from both sports, but more so for soccer players (58%) than basketball players (50%). The lowest pressures were seen in the medial arch in 14 soccer players (35%) and 13 basketball players (41%). And the lateral heel was more likely to experience the lowest pressures in basketball players than in soccer players (12.5% vs 5%).
Although the assessments were not sport-specific, the findings suggest a trend toward more medial loading in soccer players than in basketball players.