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Effects of Daily Physical Activity Level on Manual Wheelchair Propulsion Technique in Full-Time Manual Wheelchair Users During Steady-State Treadmill Propulsion

Dysterheft, J., Rice, I., Learmonth, Y.C., Kinnett-Hopkins, D. and Motl, R.W. (2017) Effects of Daily Physical Activity Level on Manual Wheelchair Propulsion Technique in Full-Time Manual Wheelchair Users During Steady-State Treadmill Propulsion. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 98 (7). pp. 1374-1381.

Link to Published Version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apmr.2017.01.007
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Abstract

Objective: To examine whether differences in propulsion technique as a function of intraindividual variability occur as a result of shoulder pain and physical activity (PA) level in full-time manual wheelchair users (MWUs).

Design: Observational study.

Setting: Research laboratory.

Participants: Adults (N=14) with spinal cord injury (mean age: 30.64±11.08) who used a wheelchair for >80% of daily ambulation and were free of any condition that could be worsened by PA.

Interventions: Not applicable.

Main Outcome Measures: PA level was measured using the Physical Activity Scale for Individuals with Physical Disabilities (PASIPD), and shoulder pain was measured using the Wheelchair User's Shoulder Pain Index (WUSPI) survey. Mean and intraindividual variability propulsion metrics were measured for propulsion analysis.

Results: WUSPI scores indicated participants experienced low levels of shoulder pain. The results of the Spearman rank-order correlation revealed that PASIPD scores were significantly related to mean contact angle (rs=−.57) and stroke frequency (rs=.60) as well as to coefficient of variation of peak force (rs=.63), peak torque (rs=.59), contact angle (rs=.73), and stroke frequency (rs=.60). WUSPI scores were significantly correlated with only mean peak force (P=.02). No significant correlations were observed between PASIPD, WUSPI, and body mass index scores.

Conclusions: Differences in propulsion technique were observed on the basis of PA levels. Participants with higher PASIPD scores used a more injurious stroke technique when propelling at higher speeds. This may indicate that active individuals who use injurious stroke mechanics may be at higher risk of injury. A strong relation was found between peak propulsion forces and shoulder pain. Rehabilitation professionals should emphasize the use of a protective stroke technique in both inactive and active MWUs during exercise and faster propulsion.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Publisher: W.B. Saunders Ltd
Copyright: © 2016 American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/37679
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