The Influence of Backrest Inclination on Buttock PressureBy Park, Un Jin; Jang, Seong Ho; Annals of Rehabilitation Medicine, Volume 35, Number 6, pages 897-906
Publication Date: December 2011
Study assessed the effects of backrest inclination of a wheelchair on buttock pressure in patients with spinal cord injury (SCI) and individuals without disabilities. Participants, all male, were 22 patients with SCI and an average age of 32 years, and 22 individuals without disabilities with an average age of 27 years. Participants’ buttock pressures were measured by a Tekscan pressure sensing mat and software while they were seated in a reclining wheelchair. Buttock pressures were recorded at the ischial tuberosity (IT) and sacrococcygeal (SC) areas while backrest angles were varied at 10 degree increments between 90 and 130 degrees. Recordings were made at each angle over 4 seconds at a sampling rate of 10 hertz. When compared to participants without disabilities, SCI patients showed an asymmetric pressure distribution between the left and right IT areas. The differences between nondisabled participants and SCI patients in the seat-to-back angles at which pressures in the IT and SC areas crossed as the tilt angle was increased were approximately 13.2 degrees for average pressures and 16 degrees for peak pressures. This indicated that the pelvis in the SCI patients was tilted about 15 degrees backwards. Lumbar kyphosis due to weakness of the paraspinal muscles was considered as one of the explanations for posterior pelvic tilting. As the backrest angle was tilted backwards in SCI patients, the peak pressure in the IT area was reduced, but the pressure in the SC area remained at about the same level. This suggests that pressure ulcers may be prevented or decreased in tetraplegia patients when the wheelchair backrest angles are more than 120 degrees.
Published by: Korean Academy of Rehabilitation Medicine (Website:http://karm.or.kr/)
Link to text: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3309388/