Vibration and Manual Wheelchair Users Bundle

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Article Vibration and the Manual Wheelchair User, D. Curt Prewitt, MS, PT, ATP

Good Vibrations: Can Manual Wheelchair Design Principles Mitigate the Adverse Effects of Vibration? Speaker Curt Prewitt, MS, PT, ATP

Significant exposure to vibration (whole body vibration – WBV) has been linked to a variety of adverse health conditions in able bodied workers exposed to WBV during occupation.  For individuals in wheelchairs, WBV can not only have an adverse effect on comfort, ride quality and energy expenditure, but the WBV these individuals experience in their chairs can contribute to pain, degenerative conditions, interference with ADLs, increased spasticity and others.

Wheelchair manufacturers have attempted to mitigate the detrimental effects of WBV through a variety of approaches in the past. However, much of the technology has been insufficient to meaningfully dampen the WBV a person in a manual wheelchair sustains. This presentation will discuss the issues associated with WBV for the manual wheelchair user, discuss the pros and cons of some of the remedies that have previously been used, and discuss the unique application of design principles and materials that allow for dampening WBV.