Evaluation of pediatric manual wheelchair biomechanics
Wheelchairs are the most common assistive mobility devices used in persons under the age of 18, with the majority using manual chairs. The increased loads on the joints of the upper extremity have been associated with injury. It is important to understand these mechanisms in order to limit secondary complications.
Subjects were asked to propel at a self-elected speed using their natural propulsion method, while kinematic data was captured using motion detectors.
The average propulsion speed for these children was comparable to that found in similar studies on adults. However the angle the wheel moved through as result of each propulsion was much smaller in this group than in similar adult studies.
The propulsion patters used by this group varied, with participants often not displaying one clear consistent use of any one of the four common patters.
The frequency and size of forces on the joints (especially Glenohumeral) are reason for concern as this population are likely to be long-term wheelchair users.
> From: Slavens et al., BioMed Res Int 2015 (2015) 634768. All rights reserved to The Author(s). Click here for the Pubmed summary.
Video: Proulsion patterns wheelchairs: