Examination of the Effect of an Ergonomic Wheelchair on Upper Extremity Pain in Manual Wheelchair UsersBy Boninger, David S., PhD; Dixon, Matthew, MS; RESNA 28th International Annual Conference 2005: Atlanta, Georgia,
Publication Date: 2005
Study conducted to examine the effects of the Natural-Fit, which is an ergonomic wheelchair handrim, in reducing pain in the hands and wrists. The Natural-Fit is made up of two separately coated components: (1) a smooth oval surface for the palm of the hand, and (2) a higher-friction contoured slot for the thumb. These components create an ergonomic grip for the hand, and provide the user with separate surfaces for propulsion and braking. The designers hope that this design could reduce stress on the hands, wrists, and arms via improved propulsion and braking efficiency, reduced activation of the finger flexors, and reduced pressure on the carpal tunnel. A total of 46 people participated in the study, as their standard handrims were replaced with Natural-Fit handrims for a period of 25 weeks. A qualitative survey yielded results that suggested the Natural-Fit helps to reduce pain in the upper extremities, enhance quality of life, avoid medical costs, and extend users’ ability to keep using a manual wheelchair. Implications for future research are discussed. This paper was presented at the 2005 annual conference of RESNA, the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America and is available on CD-ROM.
Assistive Products Discussed: NATURAL-FIT
Published by: Rehabilitation Engineering & Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA) (Website:http://www.resna.org)
This publication is included in the library of the National Rehabilitation Information Center (NARIC), accession number O16185