STUDY DESIGN: A complex set-up was used to investigate kinematics and ground reaction forces.
SETTING: Motor Control and Physical Therapy Research Laboratory, Neurotec Department, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge, Sweden.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate how men and women with spinal cord injury (SCI) perform transfers from table to wheelchair with regard to timing and magnitude of force generation beneath the hands and associated body movements.
METHODS: A total of 13 subjects (seven men, six women) with thoracic SCI. Kinematics of body movement were recorded (Elite 2000 system) simultaneously with the signals from three force plates (AMTI) placed beneath the buttocks and hands. Temporal and spatial parameters regarding head, trunk and trailing arm displacement, loading amplitudes and loading torque directions of both hands were analyzed for each trial and subject and compared between genders.
RESULTS: Men and women used similar amplitudes of head bending and forward displacement of the trailing shoulder, while female subjects had significantly larger trunk rotation. Both genders applied significantly more weight on the trailing hand. Differences between genders were seen in direction and timing of peak torque beneath the hands.
CONCLUSIONS: The forces beneath the trailing hand were larger than those in the leading, if there is weakness or pain in one arm, this arm should be selected as the leading. To avoid excessive load on the arms, technical aids and environmental factors should be very well adapted.
SPONSORSHIP: This project was funded by the Swedish Research Council and the Health Care Science Committee of Karolinska Institutet.
2007. Vol. 45, no 1, 41-48 p.