This study determined if upper-limb (UL) muscular effort was reduced when a person with spinal cord injury (SCI) performed a sitting pivot transfer in the preferred direction compared with that in the nonpreferred direction. The study group included 14 persons with SCI. Surface electromyography was used to record activity of key UL muscles bilaterally during sitting pivot transfers. These transfers were performed in each of the preferred and nonpreferred directions from each individual's wheelchair to a padded tub bench of even height. Similar peak muscular efforts were found between the preferred and nonpreferred transfer directions for all muscles. The peak muscular effort was also found to be similar between the leading and trailing ULs during the transfers in all muscles except one: the anterior deltoid solicited the most at the trailing UL. Comparable overall muscular work was calculated between the preferred and nonpreferred transfer directions for all muscles and between the leading and trailing ULs. These results indicate that direction preference expressed by individuals with SCI when transferring is not explained by relative muscular effort difference.
Volume 46 Number 9, 2009
Pages 1099 — 1108