Wheelchair Propulsion by Class II Athletes wity Cerebral Palsy: A Quantitative Look
Much has been written concerning wheelchair propulsion using the upper body; however, the literature is sparse when addressing the use of the lower body for the same task. The United States Cerebral Palsy Athletic Association (USCPAA) utilizes a functional classification system which includes athletes who use their feet to propel a wheelchair. The purpose of this investigation was to identify selected kinematic variables involved during a wheelchair sprint start using the lower extremities.
Hand propulsion techniques by spinal cord injured athletes have dominated the biomechanical literature over the past decade (Hamilton, Ridgway, Morse, Hedrick & Adrian, 1987; Higgs, 1984; Kling, 1981). No available literature has focused on determining the biomechanical factors affecting the foot propulsion technique by athletes with cerebral palsy. Questions involving wheelchair velocity, linear displacement and temporal characteristics during each movement phase, plus joint range of motion need to be investigated.
Six Class II elite athletes using the backward push technique with their feet served as subjects for this study. The athletes were participants in the 1984 International Games for the Disabled. The subjects were filmed (54 fps) from a side view on each of three trials during a spring start which consisted of three complete pushes. A computer program …