Static Plantar Pressures In The Elite Tennis Players
The aim of the study was to investigate tennis players' plantar pressure characteristics and potential pain profiles in static standing through plantar pressure measurement. Research subjects included twenty-one elite tennis players (ET), twenty-eight subelite tennis players (ST) and twenty-eight non-athletes (controls). ‘JC Mat’, the optical plantar pressure measurement, was applied to examining the differences among three groups in the arch index (AI), three regional and six distinct sub-regional plantar pressure distributions (PPD) from the footprints. The tennis players’ pain assessment and self-reported health status were examined for evaluating their common pain areas. Findings from the control group, the AI fell into the normal range. The ET group's arch type was classified as high-arched feet. PPD at the lateral longitudinal arch and the lateral heel of both feet, and the medial metatarsal bone of the right foot were significantly higher in the ET group. In the ST group, PPD were particularly concentrated in the medial metatarsal bone and the lateral heel of both feet. PPD exerted on the lateral longitudinal arch of both feet were significantly different between the ET and ST group. The lateral ankle and knee joints, the anterior cruciate ligament and the lateral ankle ligament were the most common musculoskeletal pain areas in tennis players. We conclude that the elite tennis players’ AI was generally classified as high arches, and their PPD and pain profiles were categorized between the features of supinated foot and patellofemoral pain syndrome. The correlation between the experiences in tennis training and the development of the foot supination is worth further studies.
Keywords— Elite Tennis Players, Subelite Tennis Players, Arch Index, Plantar Pressure Distributions, Supinated Foot, Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome.