Foot pressure and center of pressure in athletes with ankle instability during lateral shuffling and running gait

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This study evaluates foot pressure and center of pressure (COP) patterns in individuals with ankle instability during running and lateral shuffling. Eleven participants with ankle instability (AI) and 11 normal subjects (Normal) performed running and lateral shuffling tasks. The outcome measures were foot progression angle, peak pressure, and displacement of COP during stance phase. During running, the foot progression angle, that is, the angle of foot abduction, was lower in the AI group (Normal: 13.46° ± 4.45°; AI: 8.78° ± 3.91°), and the 1st metatarsal contact pressure (Normal: 0.76 ± 0.47 N/cm2·kg; AI: 1.05 ± 0.70 N/cm2·kg) and the 3rd metatarsal peak pressure were higher in the AI (Normal: 0.96 ± 0.60 N/cm2·kg; AI: 1.54 ± 0.68 N/cm2·kg). The medial-lateral (M-L) COP in the late-stance phase of running for the AI group transferred faster from lateral to medial foot than the Normal group. For lateral shuffling, the AI group had greater peak pressure at the 1st (Normal: 0.76 ± 0.67 N/cm2·kg; AI: 1.49 ± 1.04 N/cm2·kg), 2nd (Normal: 0.57 ± 0.39 N/cm2·kg; AI: 0.87 ± 0.68 N/cm2·kg), 3rd (Normal: 0.70 ± 0.54 N/cm2·kg; AI: 1.42 ± 0.87 N/cm2·kg), and 4th (Normal: 0.52 ± 0.38 N/cm2·kg; AI: 1.12 ± 0.78 N/cm2·kg) metatarsal areas than the Normal group. The M-L COP located more laterally from the early to mid-stance phase in the AI compared with the Normal group. The findings suggest that COP displacement during lateral shuffle may be a factor in ankle instability while the foot progression angle during running may be a compensatory strategy.

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