Background: Plantar pressure assessment are useful for understanding the functions of the foot and lower limb and predicting injury incidence rates. Musculoskeletal fatigues are likely to affect the results of plantar pressure profiles. This study aimed at characterizing college elite basketball players' plantar pressure profiles and pain profiles during static standing and walking. Methods: Fifty-one male elite basketball players and eighty-five male recreational basketball players participated in this study. An optical plantar pressure measurement system was used for collecting the arch index (AI), regional plantar pressure distributions (PPDs), and footprint characteristics during static and dynamic activities. Elite basketball players' pain profiles were examined for evaluating their common musculoskeletal pain areas.Results: The AI values in recreational basketball players fell in the normal range, whereas was considerably lower in elite basketball players. Elite basketball players' static PPDs of both feet were mainly exerted on the lateral longitudinal arch and the lateral heel, and relatively lower on the medial longitudinal arch, the medial and lateral metatarsal bones. The PPDs mainly transferred to the lateral metatarsal bone and lateral longitudinal arch, and decreased at the medial heel during the midstance phase of walking. The footprint characteristics of elite basketball players illustrated the features of the calcaneal varus (supinated foot) of high arches and the dropped cuboid foot. The lateral ankle joints and anterior cruciate ligaments were the common musculoskeletal pain areas. Conclusions: Elite basketball players' AI values was found to be high arches, and their PPDs tended to parallel the features of the high-arched supinated and dropped cuboid foot. Their pain profiles not only resonated with the common basketball injuries, but also reflected the features of the Jones fracture and cuboid syndrome. The potential links among high-arched supinated foot, Jones fracture and cuboid syndrome are worth further studies.

This content is only available as a PDF.