Wheelchair Axle Position Effect on Start-Up Propulsion Performance of Persons With TetraplegiaBy Freixes, Orestes; Fernandez, Sergio Anibal; Gatti, Marcelo Andres; Crespo, Marcos Jose; Olmos, Lisandro Emilio; Rubel, Ivan Federico ; Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development, Vol. 47, No. 7, pp. 661-668
Publication Date: 2010
Study assessed the changes in speed, acceleration, stroke frequency, and shoulder range of motion (ROM) associated with different wheelchair axle positions in people with chronic cervical 6 (C6) tetraplegia. In a chronic spinal cord injury (SCI) unit, the speed, acceleration, stroke frequency, and shoulder ROM in 4 different rear axle positions were analyzed in 8 male participants with C6 SCI aged 17 to 57 years. The axle positions were (1) up and forward, (2) down and forward, (3) down and backward, and (4) up and backward. Moving the axle forward generates a seat unit that is posterior relative to the rear wheels, whereas moving it backward results in the seat unit being anterior to the wheels; moving down the posterior seat results in a seat unit that is lower relative to the rear wheels, and moving up the posterior seat results in a seat unit higher relative to the rear wheels. Two start-up strokes over a smooth, level vinyl floor were analyzed for significant statistical differences using the Wilcoxon signed rank test and the Friedman test. Results showed that the up and forward axle position resulted in an increase of speed and acceleration, with a higher stroke frequency and a decreased shoulder ROM. The down and backward axle position resulted in the lowest speed and acceleration, with a lower stroke frequency and an increased shoulder ROM. The up and forward axle position was the most conducive to stroke compared with the other positions analyzed.
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