Elbow kinematics during overground manual wheelchair propulsion in individuals with tetraplegia

Anna M. Goins, Kerri Morgan, Christina L. Stephens, Jack R. Engsberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose. The purpose of this study was to describe horizontal and vertical translation of the elbow and elbow angle in two planes and three speeds during manual wheelchair overground propulsion in individuals with tetraplegia. Methods. Seven individuals with tetraplegia who used manual wheelchairs wheeled overground at three different speeds were recruited for the study. Video motion capture methods quantified their movements. Video data were tracked and used to calculate variables describing three-dimensional elbow translation and angular orientation. Repeated measures ANOVA were used to determine effects of speed on elbow translation and elbow angle. Paired t-tests were used to evaluate left to right differences. Results. Right elbow anterior-posterior translation was found to be significantly different during slow and fast and slow and normal speeds. Vertical and medial-lateral translation of the right elbow was significantly different between slow and fast speeds. No significant effects for speed during left elbow movement or side-to-side movement were found. No significant effects were found for elbow angle across speeds or from side-to-side. Three patterns of elbow movement emerged for anterior-posterior and medial-lateral translation and for elbow angle. Conclusions. Results indicated that elbow translation was related to propulsion speed. Work involving this population is needed for further understanding of upper extremity kinematic patterns.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)312-319
Number of pages8
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2011


  • Biomechanics
  • rehabilitation
  • upper extremity


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