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Barometric and Spatiotemporal Gait Differences Between Leading and Nonleading Feet of Handball Players

Mariam A. AmeerPhysical Therapy and Health Rehabilitation Department, College of Applied Medical Sciences, Jouf University, Al-Jouf, Saudi Arabia; Biomechanics Department, Faculty of Physical Therapy, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt.

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Mohamed I. KamelDepartment of Developmental Disorders in Pediatrics and its Surgery, Faculty of Physical Therapy, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt.

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Shaimaa A. AliNursing Department, College of Applied Medical Sciences, Jouf University, Al-Jouf, Saudi Arabia; Critical Care and Emergency Nursing Department, Faculty of Nursing, Mansoura University, Egypt.

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Background: Side-to-side stress imbalance has been suggested as a risk factor for injury in unilateral sports. The leading leg is suggested to be essential in sports rehabilitation for the return of athletes to the playground. The main aim of this study was to evaluate the dynamic pedobarometric and spatiotemporal gait differences between the leading and nonleading feet of male handball players.

Methods: Thirty healthy elite male handball players (mean ± SD: age, 31.7 ± 2.99 years; height, 177.5 ± 6.0 cm; weight, 78.9 ± 6.3 kg; body mass index, 25.0 ± 0.7) participated in this study; all of the participants were backcourt and pivot handball players. The assessments were performed using the Tekscan Walkway pressure sensor to detect and compare the variables of interest between the leading and nonleading feet during normal walking at a self-selected speed.

Results: Maximum force, peak pressure (total and forefoot pressure), foot width, single-limb support time, and step velocity were significantly increased in the leading foot compared with the nonleading foot. In addition, maximum force, foot width, and total peak pressure showed moderate positive significant correlations with body mass index.

Conclusions: The differences in the pedobarometric and spatiotemporal gait parameters may result from the physiologic and mechanical demands that are put on the leading foot of handball players, which need more rehabilitation attention and protection to avoid expected injuries.

Corresponding author: Mariam A. Ameer, PhD, Faculty of Physical Therapy, Cairo University, Biomechanics, 7 Ahmed Elziat St, Ben Elsarayat, El Dokki, Faculty of Physical Therapy, Cairo University, Biomechanics Department, Giza, Egypt, Cairo, 12612, Egypt. (E-mail: mariam.abdelmonim@cu.edu.eg; maabdu@ju.edu.sa)