Document Type




Publication Date



Hindawi Publishing Corporation

Source Publication

BioMed Research International

Source ISSN


Original Item ID

doi: 10.1155/2015/634768


There is minimal research of upper extremity joint dynamics during pediatric wheelchair mobility despite the large number of children using manual wheelchairs. Special concern arises with the pediatric population, particularly in regard to the longer duration of wheelchair use, joint integrity, participation and community integration, and transitional care into adulthood. This study seeks to provide evaluation methods for characterizing the biomechanics of wheelchair use by children with spinal cord injury (SCI). Twelve subjects with SCI underwent motion analysis while they propelled their wheelchair at a self-selected speed and propulsion pattern. Upper extremity joint kinematics, forces, and moments were computed using inverse dynamics methods with our custom model. The glenohumeral joint displayed the largest average range of motion (ROM) at 47.1° in the sagittal plane and the largest average superiorly and anteriorly directed joint forces of 6.1% BW and 6.5% BW, respectively. The largest joint moments were 1.4% body weight times height (BW × H) of elbow flexion and 1.2% BW × H of glenohumeral joint extension. Pediatric manual wheelchair users demonstrating these high joint demands may be at risk for pain and upper limb injuries. These evaluation methods may be a useful tool for clinicians and therapists for pediatric wheelchair prescription and training.


Published version. BioMed Research International, Vol. 2015 (2015). DOI. © Hindawi Publishing Corporation 2015.

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