Glenohumeral joint dynamics and shoulder muscle activity during geared manual wheelchair propulsion on carpeted floor in individuals with spinal cord injury

Omid Jahanian, Alyssa J. Schnorenberg, Vaishnavi Muqeet, Elizabeth T. Hsiao-Wecksler, Brooke A. Slavens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This study investigated the effects of using geared wheels on glenohumeral joint dynamics and shoulder muscle activity during manual wheelchair propulsion. Seven veterans with spinal cord injury propelled their wheelchairs equipped with geared wheels over a carpeted floor in low gear (1.5:1) and standard gear (1:1) conditions. Hand-rim kinetics, glenohumeral joint dynamics, and muscle activity were measured using a custom instrumented geared wheel, motion analysis, and surface electromyography. Findings indicated that the propulsion speed and stroke distance decreased significantly during the low gear condition. The peak hand-rim resultant force and propulsive moment, as well as the peak glenohumeral inferior force and flexion moment, were significantly less during the low gear condition. The peak and integrated muscle activity of the anterior deltoid and pectoralis major decreased significantly, while the normalized integrated muscle activity (muscle activity per stroke distance) was not significantly different between the two conditions. Propulsion on carpeted floor in the low gear condition was accompanied by a reduced perception of effort. The notable decrease in the peak shoulder loading and muscle activity suggests that usage of geared wheels may be beneficial for wheelchair users to enhance independent mobility in their homes and communities while decreasing their shoulder demands.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Electromyography and Kinesiology
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

Keywords

  • Electromyography
  • Geared manual wheelchair wheel
  • Glenohumeral joint
  • Manual wheelchair mobility
  • Rehabilitation
  • Shoulder biomechanics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Biophysics
  • Clinical Neurology

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