“The Wheel Story – The Impact of Wheels and Tires on Manual Wheelchair Propulsion Efficiency” Curt Prewitt, MS, PT, ATP

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Date: 11-09-23 at 4:00 pm ET

Credit: .1 CEU

Speaker: Curt Prewitt, MS, PT, ATP

Level: Intermediate

Imagine a meticulously configured ultralightweight rigid manual wheelchair, set-up for the user’s measurements, postural needs, and skill level. The wheelchair has an optimal configuration and is free of unnecessary components. The end user is expecting an efficient wheelchair. Now, imagine the chair being issued with mag wheels and pneumatic tires with flat-free inserts. This presentation will address the science of wheels and tires and review current research on the impact of selection and setup on wheelchair performance and propulsion efficiency. Attendees will be provided practical considerations to equip them to make appropriate wheel and tire selections for manual wheelchairs.

Learning Outcomes:

  • List two characteristics each of drive wheels and of caster wheels and explain how they influence manual wheelchair propulsion efficiency.
  • Explain the importance of drive wheel diameter as it relates to rolling resistance.
  • List two examples of manual wheelchair propulsion maneuvers where rotational inertia has a significant influence and describe a strategy for each to lessen that influence.