Hip-Focused Neuromuscular Exercise Provides Immediate Benefits in Foot Pronation and Dynamic Balance: A Sham-Controlled Cross-Over Study

in Journal of Sport Rehabilitation
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Context: Knowledge on how to utilize a kinetic chain approach in foot and ankle rehabilitation is important. Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the immediate effects of hip-focused neuromuscular exercise on foot pronation and single-leg neuromuscular control. Design: Cross-over study. Setting: University laboratory. Participants: This cross-over study included 44 asymptomatic volunteers with foot pronation. Interventions: All participants performed (1) a hip-focused neuromuscular exercise and (2) a sham exercise in randomized order. Main Outcome Measures: Foot pronation was assessed by the navicular drop test, and lower-extremity neuromuscular control was assessed by the Modified Star Excursion Balance Test and frontal plane projection angle during single-leg squat before and after the experiments. Results: Navicular drop test scores were significantly lower after the hip-focused neuromuscular exercise than after the sham exercise (mean difference [95% CI] = 2.84 [−1.08 to 6.77], P = .003). Modified Star Excursion Balance Test scores in the anterior (P = .008), posteromedial (P = .04), and posterolateral (P < .001) directions were significantly increased after hip-focused neuromuscular exercise. No statistically significant condition × time interaction was found for the frontal plane projection angle (P > .05). However, a main effect of time (P = .003) indicated that less dynamic knee valgus occurred during single-leg squat after both experiments. Conclusions: Hip-focused neuromuscular exercise produced immediate alterations in foot pronation and dynamic balance. Thus, the hip-focused neuromuscular exercise may be used to control foot posture in foot rehabilitation integrated with a kinetic chain approach and could be an effective prevention and treatment strategy.

The authors are with the Faculty of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation, Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey.

Turgut (elifcamci@hacettepe.edu.tr) is corresponding author.

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