Abstract Information


Advancements in our understanding of manual wheelchair biomechanics: Functional Tasks

1Cloud B, 2Koontz A, 3Requejo P, 4Slavens B
1Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA; 2University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA; 3Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center, Downey, CA, USA; 4University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI, USA

Length of Course: 90 (Long)

Number of individuals proposed: 4

Type of Course: Instructional Course/Symposium (Long)

This symposium will focus on advancements in the assessment of manual wheelchair biomechanics during daily functional tasks of adults and youth with spinal cord injury. The panel will share recent progress in the understanding the biomechanics of common functional tasks including propulsion, body transfers, and wheelchair frame loading. The panel will provide study results, explore improvements in methodology, and discuss future directions for advancement in the field. Course content will include (1) the interplay of wheelchair dump angle, trunk posture, and shoulder kinematics during wheelchair propulsion; (2) characterization of body transfer techniques and the feasibility of training wheelchair users towards better technique; (3) the biomechanics of wheelchair frame loading (i.e. lifting and loading the wheelchair frame into the car passenger set); and (4) the evaluation of pediatric wheelchair mobility. The course will conclude with a discussion to explore how these new insights into propulsion, body transfers, and wheelchair frame loading can translate into improved training of manual wheelchair skills.

Course Chair:
Beth Cloud, PT, DPT, PhD
Assistant Professor
Physical Therapy Doctoral Program
Mayo Clinic

Alicia Koontz, PhD
Associate Professor
Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology
University of Pittsburgh

Philip Requejo, PhD
Director, Rehabilitation Engineering Program
Los Amigos Research and Education Institute,
Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center,

Brooke Slavens, PhD
Associate Professor
University of Wisconsin Milwaukee

Funding Sources
NIH, DoD, NIDILRR, Craig H. Neilsen Foundation

Draft Agenda
0:00-0:20 The interplay of wheelchair dump angle, trunk posture, and shoulder kinematics during wheelchair propulsion (Beth Cloud)
0:20-0:40 Body transfer technique and training (Alicia Koontz)
0:40-0:60 Biomechanics of wheelchair frame loading (Phil Requejo)
0:60-0:80 Pediatric wheelchair propulsion mechanics (Brooke Slavens)
0:80-0:90 Discussion


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