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Influence of footwear on the biomechanics of young tennis players: short and mid term adaptations

Abstract : Nowadays, most of tennis footwear manufacturers propose children tennis shoes that are scaled-down from adult shoes. However, children are not adult-miniature and have specific needs. Between 8 and 12 years old, children experience growth spurts that decrease the lower limb flexibility and increase the tensile forces on tendons insertion sites onto bones. In addition, the practice of tennis in high-intensity, with the repetition of accelerations and decelerations, places high tensile forces at the Achilles tendon insertion site onto the calcaneus and large compressive forces under the calcaneus. The combination of these 2 factors increase the risk to experience one of the main overuse injuries in children: Sever’s disease. Therefore, the aim of this thesis work was to define the features of a suitable footwear for children tennis players in terms of fitting comfort and limitation of injuries. Firstly, a sock equipped with textile pressure sensors was designed and its measurement reliability was validated. Then, this innovative device was used to correlate pressure measurement and comfort perception on 8 foot locations, allowing to determine the optimal inner-shoe volume for children tennis players. Secondly, the acute effects of shoe drop on the biomechanics of children tennis players were examined and it was shown that reducing from 12 mm to 6 mm allowed to reduce ground reaction forces and thus potentially impact-related injuries. Finally, the long-term influence of shoe drop reduction on the biomechanics and heel pain reported by children tennis players was investigated. The gradual reduction in shoe drop induced a switch from a rear- to forefoot strike pattern in half of the participants and allowed to remove heel pain for them. Future studies are needed to examine the lower-limb structural adaptations linked to the use of partial minimalist shoes.
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Submitted on : Friday, October 1, 2021 - 10:45:50 AM
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Alexis Herbaut. Influence of footwear on the biomechanics of young tennis players: short and mid term adaptations. Bioengineering. Université de Valenciennes et du Hainaut-Cambrésis, 2016. English. ⟨NNT : 2016VALE0010⟩. ⟨tel-03361040⟩



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