SCI Roundup: Ultralights & Propulsion
The papers mentioned in the RESNA’s Position Paper Highlights Ultralight Chair Applications article can be accessed online by visiting these sites.
The Application of Ultralight Manual Wheelchairs
Now available from RESNA (Rehabilitation Engineering & Assistive Technology Society of North America).
While you’re there: Check out the other position papers on The Application of Pediatric Power; The Application of Seat Elevating Devices; The Application of Tilt, Recline & Elevating Legrests for Wheelchairs; The Application of Wheelchair Standing Devices; and RESNA’s Position on Wheelchairs Used as Seats in Motor Vehicles.
Preservation of Upper Limb Function Following Spinal Cord Injury: A Clinical Practice Guideline for Health-Care Professionals
The work of the Paralyzed Veterans of America Consortium for Spinal Cord Medicine, this report makes a number of recommendations concerning consumers with spinal cord injury. Those recommendations range from “Educate health-care providers and persons with SCI about the risk of upper limb pain and injury, the means of prevention, treatment options and the need to maintain fitness” to “Minimize the frequency of repetitive upper limb tasks” to “Avoid positioning the hand above the shoulder” to “Provide manual wheelchair users with SCI a high-strength, fully customizable manual wheelchair made of the lightest possible material.”
The article is available in the PubMed section of the National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
Preservation of Upper Limb Function Following Spinal Cord Injury: What You Should Know
A consumer version of this report explains the parts of the body at higher risk of injury for wheelchair users, and why: “Any repetitive task, such as factory assembly work, can cause damage to the median nerve where it passes through the carpal tunnel in the wrist. No work is more repetitive than pushing the rim of a wheelchair.”
The guide defines different types of wheelchairs, dispels a few myths along the way (“Weight is not the only factor to consider”), and discusses performance (“Your chair will roll more smoothly and have less resistance if your weight is over the big wheels”). Environmental impacts, tools that can reduce stress on the arms, and fitness and stretching are also discussed.
Download the consumer guide at the Consortium for Spinal Cord Medicine Web site, which is administered by Paralyzed Veterans of America.
This article originally appeared in the June 2012 issue of Mobility Management.