Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form

Investigating Upper Limb Vibration as an Exercise Modality for Persons with Spinal Cord Injury

Bass, Sarah (2020) Investigating Upper Limb Vibration as an Exercise Modality for Persons with Spinal Cord Injury. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

Download (6MB) | Preview


Strong upper limb musculature is important for persons with spinal cord injury (SCI) to operate manual wheelchairs in order to live independent and meaningful lives. Furthermore, strong upper limb musculature can help to prevent injury and improve pain caused by overuse. Targeted upper limb vibration may be a viable option for persons with SCI to build muscle quickly and efficiently, can be performed in the home and eliminates some of the barriers associated with strength training for persons with SCI. Two research studies aimed to investigate the use of upper limb vibration for persons with SCI. The first research study assessed the feasibility of completing a single training session using upper limb vibration and compared vibration training to standard dumbbell training with respect to power output, blood lactate, heart rate and rating of perceived exertion. More than 80% of participants were able to hold the dumbbell for 45s for only three exercises on the right side and 2 exercises on the left side. Participants perceived exertion was significantly greater when training with vibration for 4 out of the 7 exercises (p < .033). The second study aimed to assess the feasibility, acceptability and implementation of a 12-week training program using upper limb vibration. The secondary aim was to assess the impact of the training program on upper limb strength, power and pain, as well as changes in wheelchair propulsion and transfer ability. The 12-week training program met some of the criteria for feasibility and implementation. One of the three participants who completed the training protocol found vibration training to be acceptable. Improvements in wheelchair propulsion and transfer ability were seen at 12-weeks compared to baseline for two participants. Other results from the 12-week training study were mixed, with no clear success for many of the outcomes. Future studies with dumbbell exercise being completed isometrically are needed to show a difference in physiological measures between vibration training and dumbbell training, which can be truly attributed solely to the addition of vibration. Furthermore, an additional study should be conducted to determine appropriate starting weight for training and appropriate training progression.


Social Networking:
Share |


Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Bass, Sarahsrb94@pitt.edusrb940000-0002-2604-6053
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairKoontz, Aliciaakoontz@pitt.eduakoontz
Committee MemberDicianno, Braddicianno@pitt.edudicanno
Committee MemberNindl, Bradleydnindl@pitt.edubnindl
Committee MemberPiva, Saraspiva@pitt.eduspiva
Date: 14 January 2020
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 3 June 2019
Approval Date: 14 January 2020
Submission Date: 28 May 2019
Access Restriction: 1 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 1 year.
Number of Pages: 264
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences > Rehabilitation Science and Technology
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Manual wheelchair users Exercise
Date Deposited: 26 Aug 2020 12:41
Last Modified: 14 Jan 2021 06:15


Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item