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Upper limb strength in individuals with spinal cord injury who use manual wheelchairs

Souza, AL and Boninger, ML and Fitzgerald, SG and Shimada, SD and Cooper, RA and Ambrosio, F (2005) Upper limb strength in individuals with spinal cord injury who use manual wheelchairs. Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine, 28 (1). 26 - 32. ISSN 1079-0268

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Introduction: Manual wheelchair users have been found to be at risk for secondary upper extremity injuries. Purpose: The primary goal of this study was to compare shoulder strength and muscle imbalance of individuals with paraplegia to case-wise matched unimpaired controls (UC). A secondary goal was to evaluate the impact of age and neurologic level of injury (NLI) on weight-normalized strength (WNS). Methods: The SCI group (n = 28) and the UC group (n = 28) completed bilateral shoulder isokinetic strength testing in the sagittal, frontal, and horizontal plane at 60 degrees/second using the BioDex system. Strength ratios, an indicator of muscle imbalance, were also calculated. Results: No significant difference was seen in shoulder strength or strength ratios between the SCI group and the UC group. However, NLI was significantly related to WNS on several planes in the SCI group. Therefore, we dichotomized the SCI group into equal groups based on an NLI. The Low-SCI group was significantly stronger than the High-SCI group in most planes (P < 0.05). The High-SCI group was significantly weaker than the UC in extension (P < 0.01) and a trend (P < 0.01) was seen in flexion, abduction, and external rotation. The Low-SCI group was significantly stronger in abduction than the UC. Conclusion: WNS at the shoulder correlated with NLI. It is likely that this is related to contributions of the trunk and abdominal muscles during testing, since proximal trunk strength aids in generating forces distally. This study and others of strength in individuals with paraplegia may overestimate shoulder strength.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Souza, AL
Boninger, MLboninger@pitt.eduBONINGER0000-0001-6966-919X
Fitzgerald, SG
Shimada, SD
Ambrosio, Ffaa7@pitt.eduFAA7
Centers: Other Centers, Institutes, Offices, or Units > Human Engineering Research Laboratories
Date: 1 January 2005
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine
Volume: 28
Number: 1
Page Range: 26 - 32
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1080/10790268.2005.11753795
Schools and Programs: School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences > Rehabilitation Science and Technology
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 1079-0268
MeSH Headings: Adult; Age Factors; Arm--physiopathology; Case-Control Studies; Female; Humans; Isometric Contraction--physiology; Male; Middle Aged; Muscle, Skeletal--physiopathology; Paraplegia--etiology; Paraplegia--physiopathology; Range of Motion, Articular--physiology; Shoulder Joint--physiology; Spinal Cord Injuries--complications; Spinal Cord Injuries--physiopathology; Torque; Wheelchairs
PubMed ID: 15832901
Date Deposited: 15 Oct 2012 18:48
Last Modified: 01 Sep 2023 14:55


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