The Musculoskeletal Contribution in Wheelchair Propulsion Systems: Numerical Analysis
Although many improvements are still being investigated in the Manual Wheelchair (MWC), a number of criticisms are formulated by a vast majority of daily users. One of the most significant concerns are related to the handrim propulsion system, which is responsible for micro-traumas. The numerical study described in this paper compares two types of propulsion systems: the classical handrim and the lever propulsion. The purpose is to assess the force required for propulsion and the related consequences on involved muscles in the case of a paraplegic patient. Numerical results on lever propulsion demonstrates improved force distribution and reduced muscle activity compared to the classic handrim propulsion. In our view, these results constitute a promising initial step for demonstrating the superiority of lever propulsion from an ergonomics viewpoint.
KeywordsModeling Wheelchair Numerical simulation Biomechanics Propulsion-system
The authors gratefully acknowledge the Communauté d’Agglomération de Châlons-en-Champagne, France, for their kind financial support.
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