Wheelchair propulsion: Balancing literature with real life


Credits: .1 CEU
Presenter: Ian Rice, PhD, MSOT



This presentation will examine current and past literature pertaining to the optimization of wheelchair propulsion from an injury prevention perspective. Salient topics will include propulsion technique, stroke patterns, wheelchair fit, and training. Furthermore, common study limitations will be discussed to put evidence and recommendations into perspective. Finally, the aforementioned factors will be contrasted with the practical daily challenges/realities, which serve as barriers to practicing empirically based recommendations.

Learning outcomes:

The participant will be able to describe current literature suggestions regarding the optimization of wheelchair propulsion.
The participant will be able to list weaknesses and limitations associated with the literature.
The participant will be able to describe how to balance literature with real life considerations when teaching or training propulsion technique training or wheelchair configuration manipulation.

Assistant Professor, Department of Kinesiology and Community Health Sciences, at the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign. Ian earned his PhD from the University of Pittsburgh in 2010 in rehabilitation science and technology with a focus on biomechanics. His research interests include the study of interventional and adaptive technologies to promote injury prevention, physical activity, and full life participation in persons with mobility limitations. Dr. Rice has a particular interest in combining concepts in motor learning, motor control, and ergonomics to optimize the match between person and mobility technology. A majority of his work examines the influence of wheelchair configuration and technique training on propulsion biomechanics to minimize the development of upper limb pain and injury across a life span.