• Plantar pressure measures of running and cutting movements on third-generation artificial turf and natural grass

      Smith, Grace; Page, Matthew (University of Chester, 2013)
      In dynamic team sports such as rugby, football and American football, non-uniform differences in Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) and ankle sprain injury rates have been found between third generation artificial turf and natural grass surfaces (Dragoo & Braun, 2010; Fuller, Dick, Corlette & Schmalz, 2007b). The purpose of this study was to assess differences in plantar pressure measures, during a straight run, 45 ° and 90 ° cut, performed on each of these surfaces. Eight male university rugby players completed three trials of each movement on both a third generation artificial turf and natural grass surface. Speed was controlled, and pressure insoles were used to collect peak pressure, peak force, pressure-time integral and relative load data under the Medial Heel, Lateral Heel, Midfoot, Medial, Central and Lateral Forefoot, Hallux and Lesser Toes. No surface effect was found for any of the above variables. A significant movement effect was found, whereby cutting increased peak pressures, force and pressure-time integrals under the Medial Heel, Lateral Heel, Medial Forefoot, Central Forefoot and Hallux. Cutting reduced peak pressures, forces and pressure-time integrals under the Lateral Forefoot and Midfoot. Relative load data suggested a medial shift in loading underneath the foot during cutting compared to running; however larger increases in loading at the heel may have masked differences in loading at other foot regions. The results suggest that no surface is likely to increase ACL or ankle sprain risk. Further study is needed to establish the causes of differences in injuries sustained on these surfaces.