Load on the shoulder complex during wheelchair propulsion and weight relief lifting

S.V. van Drongelen, L.H.V. van der Woude, H.E.J. Veeger

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    Background: This study focuses on the relationship between overuse in association with wheelchair activities of daily living and risks for osteoarthrosis in the acromioclavicular and sternoclavicular joints. The aim is to quantify the joint moments and joint reaction forces in all three joints of the shoulder complex during wheelchair-related activities of daily living. Methods: A convenience sample of 17 subjects performed two tasks (wheelchair propulsion and weight relief lifting). Three-dimensional kinematics and kinetics were measured and position and force data were used as input for a musculoskeletal model of the arm and shoulder. Output variables of the model were the moments and the joint reaction forces on the sternoclavicular, acromioclavicular and glenohumeral joints. Findings: Moments on the sternoclavicular joint were higher than on the acromioclavicular and glenohumeral joint, but the joint reaction forces on the sternoclavicular and acromioclavicular joints were only one third of those on the glenohumeral joint (peak forces around 96 N compared to 315 N for wheelchair propulsion and around 330 N compared to 1288 N for weight relief lifting). Interpretation: Based on the results found in this study, net joint moments are likely a better measure to describe the load on the acromioclavicular and sternoclavicular joints due to the passive stabilization. Prospective studies on wheelchair overuse injuries should also look at the acromioclavicular and sternoclavicular joints since the load of wheelchair tasks might be a risk factor for osteoarthrosis in these joints. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)452-457
    JournalClinical Biomechanics
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


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