Pivoting neuromuscular control and proprioceptive acuity might play a significant role in anterior cruciate ligament injuries. This study aimed to examine whether pivoting off-axis intensity adjustable neuromuscular control training (POINT) could improve pivoting neuromuscular control, proprioceptive acuity, and functional performance. Out of 41 subjects, 21 subjects participated in 18 sessions of POINT (three sessions per week for 6 wk), and 20 subjects served as controls who did their regular workout. Both groups received evaluations prior to, during and after interventions. Propensity score analysis with multivariable regression adjustment was used to investigate the effect of training on pivoting neuromuscular control (pivoting instability, leg pivoting stiffness, maximum internal, and external pivoting angles), proprioceptive acuity, and functional performance in both groups. Compared with the control group, the training group significantly improved pivoting neuromuscular control as reduced pivoting instability, reduced maximum internal and external pivoting angles, elevated leg pivoting stiffness, and decreased entropy of time to peak EMG in the gluteus maximus and lateral gastrocnemius under pivoting perturbations. Furthermore, the training group enhanced weight-bearing proprioceptive acuity and improved the single leg hop distance.
Improvement of pivoting neuromuscular control in functional weight-bearing activities and task performances after POINT may help develop lower limb injury prevention and rehabilitation methods to decrease anterior cruciate ligament and other musculoskeletal injuries related to pivoting sports.