Journal:Journal of Biomechanics
Year, Volume, Issue, Page(s):16, 49, 9, 1554-1561
Study used musculoskeletal modeling and forward dynamics simulations to investigate the influence of the hand pattern used during manual wheelchair propulsion on specific measures of upper-extremity muscle demand. The hand pattern (i.e., full-cycle hand path) used during manual wheelchair propulsion is frequently classified as one of four distinct hand pattern types: arc, single loop, double loop, or semicircular. Current clinical guidelines recommend the use of the semicircular pattern, which is based on advantageous levels of broad biomechanical metrics implicitly related to the demand placed on the upper extremity (e.g., lower cadence). The simulation results suggest that the double loop and semicircular patterns produce the most favorable levels of overall muscle stress and total muscle power. The double loop pattern had the lowest full-cycle and recovery-phase upper-extremity demand but required high levels of muscle power during the relatively short contact phase. The semicircular pattern had the second-lowest full-cycle levels of overall muscle stress and total muscle power, and demand was more evenly distributed between the contact and recovery phases. These results suggest that in order to decrease upper-extremity demand, manual wheelchair users should consider using either the double loop or semicircular pattern when propelling their wheelchairs at a self-selected speed on level ground.