Journal:Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Year, Volume, Issue, Page(s):16, 97, 10, 1770-1776
Study investigated how transfer technique and subject characteristics relate to ultrasound measures of shoulder soft tissue pathology and self-reported shoulder pain during transfers in a sample of 76 wheelchair users with spinal cord injury (SCI). Outcome measures included: transfer pain items from the Wheelchair User’s Shoulder Pain Index; transfer technique assessed using the Transfer Assessment Instrument (TAI); and shoulder pathology markers examined using the Ultrasound Shoulder Pathology Rating Scale (USPRS). Better transfer technique (higher TAI) correlated with less injury (lower USPRS) and less pain during transfers. Greater age was the strongest predictor of greater pathology. An interaction between technique and weight was found: participants with lower body weights showed a decrease in pathology markers with better transfer technique, while those with higher weight showed little change with technique. Participants with better transfer technique exhibited less shoulder pathology and reported less pain during transfers. The relationship between technique and pathology was strongest in lower-weight participants. While causation cannot be proven because of study design, it is possible that using a better transfer technique and optimizing body weight could reduce the incidence of shoulder pathology and pain.