The Effect of Hand Contact Speed on Wheelchair Propulsion KineticsBy Yang, Yusheng; Koontz, Alicia; Cooper, Rory A.; Boninger, Michael L.; RESNA 26th International Annual Conference 2003,
Publication Date: 2003
Study conducted to investigate the effect of hand speed prior to contact with wheelchair pushrims on wheelchair propulsion kinetics. The findings could be used to further investigate the high rate of carpal tunnel syndrome among people who use manual wheelchairs. Twenty-eight people with paraplegia who used manual wheelchairs participated in the study. The participants were instructed to propel their wheelchairs at a steady speed of 0.9 meters per second. Upon reaching the target speed for one minute, data collection was initiated for twenty seconds. Velocity of the hand and the wheel were calculated using an OPTOTRAK motion analysis camera system and a SMARTWheel. The Pearson correlation test was used to determine the relationship between relative speed and propulsion kinetic parameters. Upon a review of the quantitative data, the authors contend that people who use manual wheelchairs may be less prone to developing carpal tunnel syndrome if their hand speed prior to contact with the pushrim is more closely matched to wheel speed. Future studies may be necessary to determine if training and optimizing wheelchair configurations can improve the timing of the coupling between the hand and pushrim.
Assistive Products Discussed: Published by: Rehabilitation Engineering & Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA) (Website:http://www.resna.org)