Objective The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of a low-intensity wheelchair training on propulsion technique in inactive people with long-term spinal cord injury.
Design Participants in this multicenter nonblinded randomized controlled trial were inactive manual wheelchair users with spinal cord injury for at least 10 yrs (N = 29), allocated to exercise (n = 14) or no exercise. The 16-wk training consisted of wheelchair treadmill propulsion at 30%-40% heart rate reserve or equivalent in rate of perceived exertion, twice a week, 30 mins per session. Propulsion technique was assessed at baseline as well as after 8, 16, and 42 wks during two submaximal treadmill-exercise blocks using a measurement wheel attached to a participant's own wheelchair. Changes over time between the groups were analyzed using Mann-Whitney U tests on difference scores (P <0.05/3).
Results Data of 16 participants could be analyzed (exercise: n = 8). Significant differences between the exercise and control groups were only found in peak force after 8 wks (respective medians, -20 N vs. 1 N; P = 0.01; r(u) = 0.78).
Conclusions Significant training effects on propulsion technique were not found in this group. Perhaps, substantial effects require a higher intensity or frequency. Investigating whether more effective and feasible interventions exist might help reduce the population's risk of upper-body joint damage during daily wheelchair propulsion.
|Number of pages||12|
|Journal||American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation|
|Publication status||Published - Nov-2015|
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Motor Skills
- Upper Extremity
- MECHANICAL EFFICIENCY
- PROPULSION TECHNIQUE