Characterization of plantar pressure and footprint in elite and Subelite badminton players

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Author: 
Tong-Hsien Chow and Yih-Shyuan Chen
Subject Area: 
Social Sciences and Humanities
Abstract: 

Context: The arch is an anatomical structure of the foot which influences movements of the lower limbs and causes changes in plantar pressure distributions. Plantar pressure measurement is the effective method for assessing plantar loading and can be applied to evaluating movement performance of the foot. Objective: The purpose of this study is to explore the badminton players’ plantar loading characteristics and pain profiles in static standing. Methods: Experiments were undertaken on twenty elite badminton players (EB), twenty-four subelite badminton players (SB) and twenty-eight non-athletes (controls). ‘JC Mat’, the optical plantar pressure measurement, was applied to examining all subjects’ arch index (AI), plantar pressure distributions (PPD), and footprint characteristics. Pain assessment and self-reported health status were undertaken for evaluating the badminton players’ common pain locations. Results: Findings from the control group, the AI fell into the normal range. The badminton players’ arch type was classified as high-arched feet. PPD at the lateral longitudinal arch and the lateral heel of both feet, and the medial heel of the left foot was significantly higher in the badminton players, particularly the EB, than in the controls. PPD at the lateral metatarsal bone of both feet was significantly lower in the badminton players than in the controls. Compared with the SB, the EB had lower PPD in the lateral metatarsal bone of both feet. Footprint characteristics supported the results of the AI and PPD, and this reflected the corresponding pressure profiles. The badminton players’ lateral ankle and knee joints and gastrocnemius were the most common pain locations. Conclusion: The badminton players’ AI and PPD were generally classified as high-arched supinators, and their pain profiles paralleled the symptoms of foot supination. The findings reflected the possible link between badminton injuries and supinated feet, and the correlation is worth further studies.

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