Power-Assisted Wheels Ease Energy Costs and Perceptual Responses to Wheelchair Propulsion in Persons With Shoulder Pain and Spinal Cord Injury

Mark S. Nash, Daan Koppens, Mirjam van Haaren, Andrew L. Sherman, James P. Lippiatt, John E. Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations

Abstract

Nash MS, Koppens D, van Haaren M, Sherman AL, Lippiatt JP, Lewis JE. Power-assisted wheels ease energy costs and perceptual responses to wheelchair propulsion in persons with shoulder pain and spinal cord injury. Objective: Test effects of pushrim-activated power-assisted wheelchairs (PAPAWs) on the energetics and perceptual responses to steady-state and intensity-graded wheelchair propulsion in persons with paraplegia and tetraplegia having chronic shoulder pain. Design: Test, retest with a control condition. Setting: Academic medical center. Participants: Subjects (N=18) aged 19 to 70 years with chronic, motor-complete paraplegia and tetraplegia having confirmed shoulder pain. Interventions: Study participants underwent testing on 4 randomized nonconsecutive days during either 6 minutes of steady-state or 12 minutes of intensity-graded wheelchair propulsion on stationary rollers. Participants used their own manual wheelchair and either their customary wheels or power-assist wheels attached with an axle bracket. Main Outcome Measures: Oxygen consumption (V̇o2, L/min), distance (m), energy cost (L/m), and ratings of perceived exertion (RPE; Borg Categorical 6-20 Scale) were measured during propulsion. Results: Significant main effects of testing were observed for V̇o2, heart rate, and RPE in both subject groups. Distances propelled were significantly increased in both groups across both tests and in each of their 2-minute exercise stages. Conclusions: Use of PAPAWs by persons with paraplegia and tetraplegia having shoulder pain significantly lowers energy cost responses and perceived exertion compared with manual wheelchair propulsion while significantly increasing the distanced propelled.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2080-2085
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of physical medicine and rehabilitation
Volume89
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2008

Keywords

  • Exertion
  • Pain
  • Rehabilitation
  • Shoulder
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Wheelchairs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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