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Evaluation of shoulder joint kinematics and muscle activity during geared and standard manual wheelchair mobility. Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc 2016 08;2016:6162-6165 PMID: 28269659

Pubmed ID





Manual wheelchairs often lead to reduced independent function and an increase in shoulder pain and injuries. Geared manual wheelchairs may be a promising alternative that reduces the biomechanical demands of the shoulder needed for tasks such as propulsion on ramps and carpeted floors, while maximizing function and participation. To investigate the effects of geared manual wheelchair mobility during demanding tasks such as ramp ascent, six able-bodied subjects were evaluated in this study. Subjects were asked to propel both standard and geared manual wheelchairs on a tiled level floor and on a wheelchair ADA ramp. Shoulder muscle activity and glenohumeral joint kinematics were investigated. The results indicated that using geared manual wheelchair wheels did not alter the shoulder joint kinematics, but notably affected peak and integrated shoulder muscle activity. Muscle activity results normalized by stroke distance, indicated that using geared manual wheelchairs could decrease anterior deltoid, pectoralis major and infraspinatus muscle activity during ramp ascending, but on level floor infraspinatus muscle activity may increase. These results could have clinical implications for determining the types of functional mobility tasks for which geared manual wheelchairs are beneficial.

Author List

Jahanian O, Schnorenberg AJ, Slavens BA


Brooke Slavens BS,MS,PhD Assistant Professor in the Occupational Science & Technology department at University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee


2-s2.0-85009151473   2 Citations

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Biomechanical Phenomena
Equipment Design
Muscle Contraction
Muscle, Skeletal
Physical Exertion
Shoulder Joint
Stress, Mechanical
jenkins-FCD Prod-332 f92a19b0ec5e8e1eff783fac390ec127e367c2b5