Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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Volume 51 Number 5, 2014
   Pages 789 — 802

Abstract — Pushrim biomechanical changes with progressive increases in slope during motorized treadmill manual wheelchair propulsion in individuals with spinal cord injury

Dany H. Gagnon, PT, PhD;1* Annie-Claude Babineau;1 Audrey Champagne;1 Guillaume Desroches, PhD;1 Rachid Aissaoui, Eng PhD2

1School of Rehabilitation, Université de Montréal, Montreal, Canada; and Pathokinesiology Laboratory, Centre for
Interdisciplinary Research in Rehabilitation of Greater Montreal, Institut de Réadaptation Gingras-Lindsay-de-Montréal, Montreal, Canada; 2Department of Automated Production Engineering, École de Technologie Supérieure, Montreal, Canada

Abstract — The purpose of this study was to quantify the effects of five distinct slopes on spatiotemporal and pushrim kinetic measures at the nondominant upper limb during manual wheelchair (MWC) propulsion on a motorized treadmill in individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI). Eighteen participants with SCI propelled their MWC at a self-selected natural speed on a treadmill at different slopes (0, 2.7, 3.6, 4.8, and 7.1 degrees). Spatiotemporal parameters along with total force and tangential components of the force applied to the pushrim, including mechanical effective force, were calculated using an instrumented wheel. The duration of the recovery phase was 54% to 70% faster as the slope increased, whereas the duration of the push phase remained similar. The initial contact angles migrated forward on the pushrim, while the final and total contact angles remained similar as the slope increased. As the slope increased, the mean total force was 93% to 201% higher and the mean tangential component of the force was 96% to 176% higher than propulsion with no slope. Measures were similar for the 2.7 and 3.6 degrees slopes. Overall, the recovery phase became shorter and the forces applied at the pushrim became greater as the slope of the treadmill increased during motorized treadmill MWC propulsion.

Key words: biomechanics, exercise test, paraplegia, quadriplegia, ramps, rehabilitation, spinal cord injuries, task performance and analysis, upper limb, wheelchairs.


View HTML ¦ View PDF ¦ Contents Vol. 51, No.5

This article and any supplementary material should be cited as follows:
Gagnon DH, Babineau A, Champagne A, Desroches G, Aissaoui R. Pushrim biomechanical changes with progressive increases in slope during motorized treadmill manual wheelchair propulsion in individuals with spinal cord injury. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2014;51(5):789–802.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1682/JRRD.2013.07.0168
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