Lateral Transfer Movement Strategies among Persons with Paraplegia

Alicia M. Koontz1, Megan Yarnall1, Robert Price2, Brooke Odle1, Sue A. Sisto3, Michael L.Boninger1
Human Engineering Research Laboratories, Highland Drive VA Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA1 , Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University 2, Kessler Medical Rehabilitation Research and Education Corporation, Orange, NJ3


Overuse related injuries at the shoulder are prevalent among persons with spinal cord injury. The purpose of this study was to observe upper body motions during lateral weight-bearing wheelchair transfers and determine if using a more flexed trunk position minimizes extreme positions of the shoulder.  Twenty persons with paraplegia performed a transfer to and from their wheelchair to a level bench and back while a motion capture system recorded their non-dominant arm and trunk movements.  A more flexed trunk was associated with a more anterior arm position (r=.505,p=.023) which was associated with less shoulder internal rotation (r=.692,p=.001).  Less shoulder internal rotation was associated with less shoulder elevation (r=.577,p=.008).  This study provides insight into techniques that may prevent shoulder injuries.


spinal cord injury, motion analysis, activities of daily living, biomechanics


This study was supported by U.S. Department of VA Affairs, Eastern Paralyzed Veterans of America and National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR  H133A011107).

Alicia Koontz
Human Engineering Research Labs
VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
Phone: (412) 365-4850
Fax: (412) 365-4858


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