The effects of rear-wheel camber on the kinematics of upper extremity during wheelchair propulsion

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Abstract

Background: The rear-wheel camber, defined as the inclination of the rear wheels, is usually used in wheelchair sports, but it is becoming increasingly employed in daily propulsion. Although the rear-wheel camber can increase stability, it alters physiological performance during propulsion. The purpose of the study is to investigate the effects of rear-wheel cambers on temporal-spatial parameters, joint angles, and propulsion patterns.Methods: Twelve inexperienced subjects (22.3±1.6 yr) participated in the study. None had musculoskeletal disorders in their upper extremities. An eight-camera motion capture system was used to collect the three-dimensional trajectory data of markers attached to the wheelchair-user system during propulsion. All participants propelled the same wheelchair, which had an instrumented wheel with cambers of 0°, 9°, and 15°, respectively, at an average velocity of 1 m/s.Results: The results show that the rear-wheel camber significantly affects the average acceleration, maximum end angle, trunk movement, elbow joint movement, wrist joint movement, and propulsion pattern. The effects are especially significant between 0° and 15°. For a 15° camber, the average acceleration and joint peak angles significantly increased (p < 0.01). A single loop pattern (SLOP) was adopted by most of the subjects.Conclusions: The rear-wheel camber affects propulsion patterns and joint range of motion. When choosing a wheelchair with camber adjustment, the increase of joint movements and the base of support should be taken into consideration. © 2012 Tsai et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

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Tsai, C. Y., Lin, C. J., Huang, Y. C., Lin, P. C., & Su, F. C. (2012). The effects of rear-wheel camber on the kinematics of upper extremity during wheelchair propulsion. BioMedical Engineering Online, 11. https://doi.org/10.1186/1475-925X-11-87

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